Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, has cautioned chiefs to exercise due diligence on issues pertaining to the sale of lands within their jurisdiction.
They should respect traditional rules, follow due processes and be transparent and fair in their dealings, the King said.
“It is your duty to do the right thing, and to not engage in any malpractices by virtue of your positions, which have the tendency to bring the image of the chieftaincy institution into disrepute,” he told a Kumasi Traditional Council, in Kumasi.
The Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, and Amakomhene, Nana Adu Mensah Asare, have recently been summoned by the Asantehene for embroiling themselves in some land sale controversies.
Regarding the Bantamahene, he was summoned over the alleged double sale of land to one Mr. Amponmsah and a church – creating confusion between the two.
The Asantehene, after resolving the land dispute between the Bantamahene and the parties involved, directed Baffour Amankwatia to release all documents on the land to the said Mr. Amponsah, whom he first sold the land to.
He also directed the Bantamahene to return the money he took from the church within 14 days as he promised before the Traditional Council.
On the Amakomhene, he is alleged to have forcefully seized a piece of land a couple acquired in 1942 and sold the said property to the Church of Pentecost for a Church project over an expired lease.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who did not take kindly to this development, said: “When you ascended the Amakom stool the old woman was living on the land.
“She has been there since 1942, so even if the lease had expired, there was a clear reason to grant her a lease renewal,” he noted.
The visibly angry Asantehene, who spoke through his linguist, Baffour Kantankrankyi, condemned the Amakomhene’s action and his sub-chief, the Abontenghene, warning them of dire consequences, if such practices continued.
The Asantehene reminded the traditional rulers that the positions they occupied remained sacred, therefore, they ought to be mindful of the code of ethics binding them.
“There are clear legal and traditional arrangements for restoring and renewing leases to occupants.
“You do not just eject people from their property immediately you hear their leases have expired.” Otumfuo Osei Tutu cautioned.
Otumfuo sounded a caution to all his sub-chiefs that they were all custodians of their portions of land because he made them swear the oath of Asanteman before him, therefore, must not engage in illegalities.