Torgbiga Wenya III, an acclaimed ‘Dutor of Anlo” and his kingmakers have sued Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, at the High Court, Accra.
The Minister had been sued along with Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, the Minister of National Security and Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, over an order to Torgbiga Wenya, to desist from holding himself as Dutor of Anlo.
Mr Boateng, in a letter dated September 27, 2023, said investigation at the National House of Chiefs showed that no chief had ever been registered as Dutor in the Anlo Traditional Area and based on that, asked Torgbiga Wenya to stop holding himself as Dutor of Anlo and abort plans to organise any Hogbetsotso festival, saying, his actions could breach the peace in the area.
He further called on the National Security Minister to put necessary measures in place to prevent Torgbiga Wenya from organising any festival.
The decision by the Minister followed an earlier communique from the Anlo Traditional Council denouncing any such title as Dutor of Anlo and, other concerns of parallel publicity for this year’s Hogbetsotsoza, the cultural festival of chiefs and people of Anlo.
Mr Samuel Kissiedu from the Vordoagu, Dzeble and Co, lawyers for the applicants in a suit filed on October 9 and available to Ghana News Agency claimed the sector minister had exceeded his administrative authority and that the September 27 letter was “actuated by open bias, prejudice and unfairness.”
It said the fact that the Dutor title had not been registered could not prevent the occupant of the stool from performing his royal and customary duties, claiming the recognition of Torgbiga Wenya as Dutor (Founder) dated as far back as 400 years ago when he led the Anlo people to their present-day settlement.
The applicants in the suit, therefore, sought from the court, orders including a certiorari, to bring up the decision of Mr Boateng for the purpose of being quashed and an injunction to restrain the Chieftaincy Minister and the National Security Minister from interfering in the Anlo chieftaincy affairs and the upcoming Hogbetsotso festival.
It demanded a GH¢1,000,000.00 as damages for the desecration and breach of Anlo custom and tradition and addressing installed traditional leaders such as the 4th applicant (Torgbiga Wenya III) by his first names, it added.