Nii Amaa Ollennu

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The Right Honourable
Nii Amaa Ollennu
Nii Amaa Ollennu.png
Portrait of Nii Amaa Ollennu
President of Ghana
Second Republic
In office
7 August 1970 – 31 August 1970
Prime Minister Dr. K.A. Busia
Preceded by A.A. Afrifa
Succeeded by Edward Akufo-Addo
Speaker of the
Parliament of Ghana
(Second Republic)
In office
1 October 1969 – 12 January 1972
Preceded by Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta
(First Republic)
Succeeded by Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph
(Third Republic)
Personal details
Born (1906-05-21)21 May 1906
Accra, Gold Coast[1]
Died 22 December 1986(1986-12-22) (aged 80)[1]
Nationality Ghana Ghanaian
Spouse(s) Nana Afua Frema
(Queen-mother of Wenchi)

Raphael Nii Amaa Ollennu (21 May 1906 – 22 December 1986)[2] was a jurist and judge who was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana and became the acting President of Ghana during the Second Republic from 7 August 1970 to 31 August 1970 and the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana from 1969 to 1972.

Early life and family[edit]

Ollennu was born in Labadi, Accra in 1906 and belonged to the Ga people.[3] His parents were Wilfred Kuma Ollennu and Salomey Anerkai Mandin Abbey.[4] Nii Amaa Ollennu was the cousin of Gottlieb Ababio Adom (1904 –1979), a Ghanaian educator, editor, journalist and Presbyterian minister who served as the Editor of the Christian Messenger, the official newspaper of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana from 1966 to 1970.[5] One of Ollennu's cousins, Nathan Quao (1915 – 2005) was a diplomat, educationist, public servant and a presidential advisor to many Heads of State of Ghana.[6][7] Ollennu was also the uncle of the Ghanaian economist and diplomat, Amon Nikoi (1930 – 2002), the Governor of the Bank of Ghana from 1973 to 1977 and Finance minister from 1979 to 1981.[8][9] Additionally, his nephews were the brothers, Nicholas T. Clerk (1930 – 2012), a former Rector of the GIMPA and George C. Clerk (born 1931), the Ghanaian botanist.[10][11][12]

Education and legal career[edit]

Ollennu attended the middle boarding school, the Salem School at Osu .[13] Part of his earlier education was at the Presbyterian Training College at Akropong in the Eastern Region of Ghana.[14] He went to England to study jurisprudence at the Middle Temple, and was called to the Bar in a record 18 months, earning recognition from the Queen's Council.[15] The first person in his family to qualify as a lawyer, he was registered as Raphael Nii Amaa Ollennu in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) register in 1940.[15][16] He later became a judge and a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana.[15] He also published books on various legal topics and was an authority on traditional African land-tenure system. He was also actively involved with the General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.[17]


Nii Amaa Ollennu was one of the Accra representatives in the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly during the early 1950s.[14] He once led the Ghana Congress Party, which along with the United Gold Coast Convention and the National Democratic Party, was a party of the Danquah-Busia tradition. Ollennu was thus in opposition alongside Busia and Danquah to Nkrumah's Convention People's Party.

President of Ghana[edit]

During the second republic, Ollennu was the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana from October 1969 to January 1972. He also became the acting president of Ghana on 7 August 1970. He was officially the chairman of the Presidential Commission. He took over from the previous military leader, Lt. Gen. Afrifa and handed over on 31 August 1970 to Edward Akufo-Addo who was elected on 31 August 1970 by an electoral college. He polled 123 votes to 35 by Edward Asafu Adjaye. This was a ceremonial presidency as executive power was held by the prime minister, Kofi Abrefa Busia. Nii Amaa Ollennu was married to a sister of Prime Minister Busia, Nana Afua Frema, the Queenmother of Wenchi.[18]

Later life and death[edit]

During the second republic of Ghana, Ollennu served as Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana. He died in December 1986.


  • Ollennu, Nii Amaa (1962). Principles of Customary Land Law in Ghana. Law in Africa Volume 2. London: Sweet and Maxwell. OCLC 877770. 
  • Humphrey, J.; Fiseer, N. A.; Ollennu, Nii Amaa (1966). The Law of Testate and Intestate Succession in Ghana. Law in Africa Volume 16. London: Sweet and Maxwell. B0000CN89R. 
  • Ollennu, Nii Amaa; Gordon R. Woodman (1985). Ollennu's Principles of Customary Land Law in Ghana (2nd ed.). Birmingham: CAL Press. ISBN 978-0-9510530-0-3. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Review of Ghana Law, Volume 12 Archived 2017-09-14 at the Wayback Machine., General Legal Council, 1980.
  2. ^ "Rulers - Ghana". List of heads of state and heads of Government. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  3. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (4 February 2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945. Routledge. p. 317. ISBN 978-1-134-26490-2. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Nii Ollennu - Historical records and family trees - MyHeritage". Archived from the original on 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2018-02-04. 
  5. ^ Obituary: The Reverend Gottlieb Ababio Adom,. Accra: Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Funeral Bulletin. 29 June 1979. 
  6. ^ "Nathan Quao to be given state burial on April 8". Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  7. ^ "Nathan Quao to be given state burial on April 8". Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  8. ^ "Former Bank of Ghana Governor buried at La". Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  9. ^ "Dr Amon Nikoi, Former Governor of the Bank of Ghana". Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  10. ^ "Contact Us | Department of Botany". Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-05. 
  11. ^ "Membership". Archived from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-05. 
  12. ^ "Fellowship". Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-05. 
  13. ^ "Osu Salem". Archived from the original on 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  14. ^ a b Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr (31 August 2006). "When Dancers play Historians and Thinkers - Part 10". Feature Article. Modern Ghana Homepage. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  15. ^ a b c "Destined to be a Lawyer - College of Law - University of Idaho". Archived from the original on 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2017-09-14. 
  16. ^ "Lawyers Enrolled in the Roll Books (1876 - 1997)". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2005-04-14. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  17. ^ "Proceedings". The official record of the 20th general council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the 11th assembly of the International Congregational Council held in Nairobi, Kenya, during the period 20–30 August 1970. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-25. Dr Pradervand announced that greetings had been received, through the high commissioner of Ghana, from the Hon Justice Nii Amaa Ollennu, who was unable to attend the council because of his responsibilities in the Ghanaian government. 
  18. ^ "Personality Talk". Official Website. The Hawa Foundation and Organization. Archived from the original on 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2007-03-25. Mrs. Amerley Awua Asamoa"...."My father was the late Justice Nii Amaa Ollennu (a renowned Jurist and Speaker of Parliament, 2nd Republic of Ghana). My mother is Nana Afua Frema, former Queen-mother of Wenchi and direct sister of the late Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia (Prime Minister of the 2nd Republic). 
Political offices
Preceded by
Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta
(1965 – 66)
Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana
Second Republic

1969 – 711
Succeeded by
Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph
(1979 – 81)
Preceded by
Akwasi Afrifa
Military Head of state
President of Ghana
(Chair of Presidential Commission)

Succeeded by
Edward Akufo-Addo
Notes and references
1. *Source from Ghana Government