Tafohene, family members in tango over property

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
The disputed building
The disputed building

Tension is brewing in Old Tafo in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region following plans by the Tafohene, Nana Agyen Frimpong II, to demolish a building which some members of the Tafo Agona Royal Family claim is a family house.

The said storey-building, house number KO 31 &32, located around the Kumasi Central Market and housing more than 40 occupants, is said to be the property of the Tafo Agona Royal Family.

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Nana Frimpong has stated his intention to demolish the building for remodeling, but some of the family members allege that the chief has sold the building to a developer to be redeveloped into a commercial property.

The family members, led by Nana Mansa, have vowed to stop the demolition of the building, as they insist it is the official residence of the Queenmother of Tafo and also houses many royals.

Vacate


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On April 25, 2017, lawyers for Nana Frimpong wrote to the occupants of the building to vacate it within three months, as the chief wanted to demolish it for remodeling.

The lawyers then followed it up with another letter dated February 8, 2018 which gave the occupants a grace period of two weeks to vacate the building.

“By this reminder, you are being given 14 days to vacate the building, as preparations for the pulling down of the building will be started in earnest after the 14 days,’’ the letter stated.

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On March 19, 2018, lawyers for the Tafohene once again wrote to the occupants, insisting that the building was not a family property of the occupants but a property under the Tafo Stool.

“We have our client’s instruction to take all the necessary legal processes to eject the occupants of the property and we will do just that,’’ the letter stated.

Occupants call chief’s bluff

But the occupants, who are also royals of the Tafo Stool, have called Nana Frimpong’s bluff, vowing not to vacate the building.

In a letter written by their lawyers, they explained that they were the legitimate family members of the Old Tafo Agona Royal Family and, therefore, would not vacate the building.

“It is noteworthy that the family members have been living in the said family house long before Nana Agyen Frimpong II was enstooled as Tafohene.

“The said property is a family house and Nana Frimpong has no right to pull it down, but since he is the occupant of the stool, he can only renovate it, and after the renovation, the family members must continue to live in the property,’’ it said.

In the letter, the family members asked the Tafohene to proceed to court if, indeed, he had any legitimate right to eject them from the building.

“He can proceed to court and describe the occupants as tenants and we are determined to protect and defend the interest of our clients.

“Indeed, our clients will not vacate the premises or relocate to anywhere,’’ the letter stated.