Raphael Nii Amaa Ollennu was born in Labadi, Accra in 1906. His parents were Wilfred Kuma Ollennu and Salomey Anerkai Mandin Abbey. Ollennu attended the middle boarding school, the Salem School at Osu . He had his secondary education at Accra High School.
In 1940, he went to England to study jurisprudence at the Middle Temple, after having taken 18 months to complete a three year course passing with distinction, earning recognition from the Queen’s Council.
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. He later became a judge and a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana.
In 1950, he founded the National Democratic Party, becoming its leader. At the 1951 Gold Coast legislative election, the party failed to win any seats, and the following year, he led it into the Ghana Congress Party. Ollennu was thus in opposition alongside Busia and Danquah to Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party.
He also published books on various legal topics and was an authority on traditional African land-tenure system. He served as the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1969 to 1972.
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.