The king, traditional leader of the Ashanti people and a resident of Ghana, is in Norway to take part in a business conference. VG Nett reported that someone took a suitcase containing the king’s jewels from the area around hotel’s front desk.
“We have been told that a bag containing great value, also of great sentimental value for the owner, was stolen from the delegation,” Marius Erlandsen of the Oslo Police District told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
“As hosts for His Majesty, we are terribly sorry about this,” Eivind Fjeldstad, leader of the Norwegian-African Business Association, told VG Nett. The jewels reportedly have been inherited through several generations and are used by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II when he performs ceremonial duties as monarch for his people.
Erlandsen told (NRK) that the police had “good pictures” from a surveillance camera at the hotel and were working to identify persons in the pictures. He said it was possible more persons were involved in the reported theft.
Meanwhile at home in his kingdom the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II faces a possibility of being destooled, if he returns to Ghana from Norway without the missing ancestral jewels, a sociologist Nana Obiri Yeboah claims.
He told Joy News that due to the historical significance attached to the jewels, anybody who is in possession must account to the people of Ashanti yearly, but one is sure of getting punished for any “shortage”.
“It can lead to destoolment. Serious sanctions; there is an accountability at a certain period, [during one of the festivals] he must account for it…there is accountability and probity, so if you can’t account for it then there would be sanctions.”
Asked if the current Asantehene himself may be subjected to the same punitive measure, Nana Obiri Yeboah responded in affirmative.
“Yes. It is not your personal property, I don’t think those gold are his personal property, they belong to the kingdom and the family. I am worried or I am at a lost how it was in a bag and they took it to [Norway] I am at a lost. These things are kept with someone responsible.”
In instances where one is not even destooled, Nana Obiri Yeboah maintained that the ancestors may visit the person who misplaced them with some catastrophic consequences.
“It should not be stolen, it is a family property and if it is sold or stolen, the fear is that the ancestors will revisit you with diseases and calamities. It has haunted so many families which have dissipated these legacies that is why it is a worry to many Ashantis and other people.”