Asantehene Denies Rumours He Sold Stolen Jewels

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

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The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has taken a swipe at people suggesting that he could be destooled over the theft of his crown jewels in Oslo, Norway.

What was even more preposterous, he noted, were the attempts by people with diabolical minds to link him to the theft, saying, "I've not stolen anybody’s property for some people to sit on radio and television in Ghana to tarnish my image."

 


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“Let me tell them that I am content with what God had made me and I do not need to sell my own property to survive. Even if I have to sell, those people who are making noise should note that I don’t owe them anything,” a visibly furious Asantehene said.

Speaking for the first time on the issue at a packed Asanteman Council meeting at the Manhyia Palace yesterday, the Asantehene, who just returned from an international conference in Oslo, said he would never tell lies.

He also took on his chiefs for failing to defend him in his absence, giving his detractors a field day.

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“You want me to fight my own fight?” he asked his traditional leaders, including paramount chiefs from the Ashanti and parts of the Brong Ahafo and Volta regions.

About three weeks ago, precious jewels belonging to the Asantehene were stolen at the lobby of the Radison Blu Plaza Hotel in downtown Oslo.

The Norwegian police instituted prompt investigations into the theft.

Two suspects, a man and a woman, believed to be from Central or South America, have so far been arrested and placed in custody in Norway, while the police said they had retrieved two of the stolen items.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said God had bestowed something special on Asanteman, for which reason anyone with the intention to disgrace him and his people would fail.

He told the gathering that until he returned to Ghana to enquire from his Gyasehene, he never knew the nature of items that had been stolen.

“The fact is that I don’t handle such items. Even when I am going to functions, I don’t decide what to wear. It is the duty of the Gyasehene,” Otumfuo said.

He said he was not deterred by negative stories about him and that he would continue to work for the development of Asanteman and Ghana.

Earlier, the Adontenhene of Kumasi, Nana Adu Gyamfi, who was on the delegation of the Asantehene to Oslo, had briefed the Asanteman Council on all the developments that took place in Norway.

He said the Asantehene was in London, not Oslo, when the theft took place and that he (Asantehene) had arrived in Oslo in the evening of the day of the incident.

He said the bag containing the jewels and other luggage had been left in the hotel lobby, while the delegation went for their passports.

According to Nana Adu Gyamfi, the suspects had trailed the delegation from the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam where the baggage had been opened for inspection while the delegation was on transit.

He expressed confidence in the ability of the Norwegian police to retrieve all the items for Otumfuo.

The Adontenhene said one outcome of the visit was that some Norwegian investors would soon arrive in the country to explore the possibility of establishing a paper and pulp company.

The Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, who welcomed the Asantehene home on behalf of Nananom, congratulated him on the many good things he was doing for Asanteman and Ghana.

He said anything belonging to the Golden Stool could not get lost and that he was confident that the jewels would find their way back to Kumasi.

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu