A KUMASI High Court has ruled that the inauguration of Foase as the capital of Atwima Kwanwoma District in the Ashanti Region is an illegal act and therefore void.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Frank Amoah, stated that the district headquarters should have been sited at Twedie because official records had it that the administrative capital of the new district was to be sited there.
The ruling followed an action instituted at the High Court by the Odikro of Twedie, Nana Kwarteng Panin Akosah II and others seeking, among others, a declaration that the inauguration of Foase as the district headquarters on February 29, 2008, was null and void because the discretion and or decision by the government creating and making Foase the district capital was “unfair, injudicious, arbitrary, capricious and biased”.
Mr Justice Amoah gave a brief history of the suit, saying in 2007, the government decided to create new district assemblies out of the existing ones throughout the country and among them was Atwima Kwanwoma.
He said included in the Instrument establishing the new district was the naming of Twedie as the capital of the district.
The judge said the Daily Graphic even made a publication showing Twedie as the district capital.
“The anticipated opening of Twedie as the district headquarters, a position it held from colonial days since 1946, gingered the chiefs and people of Twedie to reactivate all former establishments in the town in preparation for the offices, and that put the people of Twedie in great euphoria.
“But they were to receive the shock of their lives when, on the day of the inauguration on February 29, 2008, Foase and not Twedie was inaugurated as the district capital,” he said.
Mr Justice Amoah said the people of Twedie did not accept that because some of the factors the government took into consideration in siting the district capital included the availability of residential quarters for the District Chief Executive (DCE), premises for the staff of the assembly, offices, a police station and large tract of land for the expansion of the assembly’s infrastructure, all of which would not be found at Foase or in any other town except Twedie.
In his ruling, the judge said he did not think anybody had the right to change the final decision that was reached making Twedie the district capital.
Conceding that the government could change its decision to create and move the district capital to another place should the siting of that particular town create political tension, “ that was not the case in this instance when everything had been completed in the process of creating Twedie as the district capital.”
The defendants in the matter were the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and two others.
No costs were awarded.