A four-member panel of the Greater Accra Regional (GAR) House of Chiefs, Dodowa, presided over by Magistrate Alexander Essien, last week Thursday, confirmed the legitimacy of the Ackwerhs as the rightful heirs to the Hwakpo stool.
This, perhaps, could draw the curtain down on the years of the traditional legal battle between the Puplampus, the appellants, who have laid claim to the Hwakpo stool, against the Ackwerhs, respondents, who have also held that they are the rightful heirs.
The Ada Traditional Council, in November last year, unanimously ruled that the Ackwerhs, not the Puplampus, are the rightful heirs and custodians of Hwakpo.
Unsatisfied by the ruling and with the right to appeal, the Puplampus, who had already installed a chief and whom the Ada Traditional Council say it does not recognise, appealed against the ruling of the Ada Traditional Council.
Months after filing for the appeal, the appellants, according to the Ada Traditional Council, had failed to meet the conditions of their appeal, including cash sums of GH¢10,000 on the one part and GH¢2,000 on the other part.
Following the elapsing of time to meet the appeal conditions, the Ada Traditional Council wrote to the GAR House of Chiefs to strike out the case before it by the appellants, a request the four-member panel of the GAR House of Chiefs granted and fined the Puplampus GH¢2,000 in addition.
The panel, however, said the appellants could still file for another appeal if they can meet the conditions of their appeal.
The Ackwerhs were represented by Numo Ernest Samuel Ackwerh, Nene Agbasi Dzikunu Ackwerh, the newly installed chief of Hwakpo and Nathan Nomotey Ackwerh, whilst the appellants were represented by Dr David Buernor Puplampu and Isaac Buertey Puplampu.
After the hearing, Numo Ernest Samuel Ackwerh, the head of the Ackwerh family, expressed his elation at the ruling, saying “Again, our brothers (Puplampus) have lost and this should bring finality to this unnecessary and time-wasting litigation.
“It is clear that the Ackwerhs are the heirs and custodians of Hwakpo and from here, we are going to hit the ground running with the developments that we have earmarked to open up Hwakpo.
“We will welcome their (Puplampus) developmental contributions, but they should not make any wrong move because we are going to be guided by the laws of the Republic of Ghana, our traditional customs and norms to ensure that Hwakpo remains peaceful and developed for our generations.”
He, however, called on the Puplampus to settle all the fines imposed on them by the courts and the traditional council, including the GAR House of Chiefs.
“They have not paid any of the courts’ and traditional council’s fines to us since they started this litigation from the 90s. We have drawn the attention of our counsel to this non-payment of the fines and we hope the Puplampus would do the proper thing because they have wasted our time,” he said.
Reverend Nathan Ackwerh, Spokesperson for the newly-installed Hwakpo chief, advised the Puplampus to desist from continuously fomenting trouble in Hwakpo.
He said “The truth will always be on the side of the Ackwerhs who will equally not allow themselves to be cheated.”