The sub-chiefs of Amanase, led by Gyaasehene, Nana Addo Agyekum, yesterday went on their knees at the Ofori Panin Fie, Kyebi, to beg the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin over the accusation that he authorised the selling of an old cemetery to an investor to be used for the construction of a fuel station.
This follows earlier reports last month that dead bodies were exhumed from the royal cemetery of Amanase, a community along the Accra-Kumasi Highway in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region after it was reportedly sold to an investor by the Okyenhene.
Thereafter, the Suhum District Police Command invaded the Amanase chief’s palace to retrieve fresh human remains and skeletons, kept at the palace which were claimed to have been stored for two years by the Gyaasehene, Nana Addo Agyekum, who is now the regent of Amanase.
The Gyaasehene, when interviewed by the media said, “The cemetery has been sold to an investor, as a result we have to exhume the bodies. So Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin himself ordered that the bodies be exhumed to enable the investor to develop the land so we held a community durbar, and invited everybody including pastors, opinion leaders to discuss the matter.”
According to him, “So after exhuming the bodies, we realised we have to create a new royal cemetery to rebury skeletons of the late chiefs. We tried several times to get earmarked land for that purpose but were unsuccessful so we decided to keep the skeletons in a room here at the palace until we get the cemetery to rebury them. We had two fresh bodies which we sent to Suhum Government Hospital but we managed to bury one, the other body is still at the morgue.”
However, when he was summoned before the Kyebi Judiciary Council for questions yesterday, he failed to justify what he said other than to eat a humble pie by going on his knees to beg the Okyenhene.
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, in his remarks, expressed his displeasure over how the sub-chiefs of Amanase have dragged his name into the mud by accusing him of selling an old cemetery to an investor.
He then referred the matter to the Kyebi Executive Council to take action after the chiefs went on their knees to beg for mercy.
The Kyebi Executive Council, led by the Chief of Kyebi, and the Adontendomhene, Oheneba Kwabena Marfo, fined them 24 sheep, 24 bottles of schnapps, and GH¢24,000.
But after pleading, the charges were reduced to six sheep, two cartons of schnapps, and an amount of GH¢2,000 to pacify the gods and the Okyenman stools.
The chiefs of Amanase, after pleading, were asked to present the items to Okyeman Palace today.
Okyenhene described the conduct of the elders of Amanase as an “evil” agenda to tarnish his image and also to set him up for public ridicule by painting him black. He also said the allegations against him are false and baseless, and that he knew nothing about it.
The Suhum District Police Command invaded the Amanase chief’s palace last month to retrieve fresh human remains and skeletons held at the palace.
The Amanase Gyasehene, after making such statements at a presser held on Friday, April 21, 2022, explained that the cemetery was rather sold to an investor by late chief Nana Asamoah Darkwaa under the witness of Osabarima Asamoah Asare Ampofo, Abena Asamabea and one teacher Offei in 2012.
He noted that there was a push back when the investor petitioned the Judicial Committee of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council chaired by Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, who ruled in favour of the investor with consequential order for exhumation.
“Based on this evidence, I want to categorically state that Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin has no hand in the sale of the old Amanase cemetery which was sold by our predecessors (Nananom), so it is not true what is circulating in the media that Okyenhene is behind the sale of Amanase old cemetery land.”
The bodies and skeletons were claimed to have been stored at the palace for two years by the Gyaasehene, Nana Addo Agyekum, who is now the regent of Amanase, after being exhumed from the royal cemetery, which has since been sold out to an investor for redevelopment.
The exhumed bodies included some late chiefs and certain royals of Amanase, and their presence at the palace reportedly sparked uproar when some members of the royal family discovered them.