It is the Judicial Committee of a Traditional Council, and not the Traditional Council, that is amenable to the Supervisory Jurisdiction of the High Court.
Supreme Court, 17th February, 2016 (Civil Motion: NO.J5/48/2015)
Coram: ATUGUBA, JSC (PRESIDING), ADINYIRA (MRS), JSC., ANIN-YEBOAH, JSC., BENIN, JSC., AKAMBA, JSC
The Applicant moved the Supreme Court for an order of certiorari directed at the High Court, Accra, to bring forth and to be quashed the Ruling of the Court presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Barbara Ward Acquah (Mrs.), on the ground that the High Court erred in exercising jurisdiction over the Ada Traditional Council, it not being its judicial committee.
The crux of the matter was that the Kabiawetsu clan of Big Ada, allegedly nominated and installed Nomo Jonathan Dzabeku Abodoadzi as the Divisional Chief (Wetsoyi) in succession to the last deceased Wetsoyi of the said clan. The applicant, the Ada Traditional Council, was notified of this installation and a date was fixed for the presentation of the new Wetsoyi to it, but the event was postponed. However on the 7th day of January 2013, the applicant rather had one Haruna Ocansey presented to it as the new Wetsoyi.
Aggrieved by the decision of the said Traditional Council, the Interested Party successfully applied and quashed the decision of the Ada Traditional Council by certiorari order of the High Court, Accra.
It was against this order of the High Court, Accra, that the Applicant applied to the Supreme Court for an order of certiorari.
The Applicant contended that it was not amenable to the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court and that it was its Judicial Committee, an inferior court, that was.
Speaking through Atuguba, JSC., the Supreme Court, unanimously held that the certiorari application to the High Court, Accra, was manifestly related to a cause or matter concerning chieftaincy, as it plainly was based on the question as to who was the rightful Divisional Chief or Wetsoyi nominated and installed by the Kubiawetsu clan. This, the Court noted, was plain from s. 76(a) of the Chieftaincy Act, 2008, Act 759. The High Court, therefore, lacked jurisdiction over the matter.