Regional News of Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Property owners at Kwabenya in the Ga East District in the Greater Accra region say they are distressed by the activities of armed land guards who as part of their modus operandi, are forcibly ejecting them and taking over their properties.
Nervous residents of the area reported that the land guards often used sophisticated, dangerous weapons and machineries such as guns, machetes and bulldozers, during their operations.
Allegations are that those criminals carry out their operations with the support of police escort and a former operative of the national security who has been identified as Justice.
A suspected armed robber said to be on the wanted list of the Criminal Investigations Department called Theophilus Ankamah Aryee has been fingered as leader of the gang.
His accomplices include Nana yaw, Lucky, and T.T Okpeba, who is alleged to have killed a policeman in Amasaman in 2012, during a related land squabble.
Their hideout has been traced to the Kwabenya cemetery area where they coordinate their inhumane operations.
George Afriyie, a resident who was recently hospitalized after being slashed with a knife by the bandits, narrated his experience saying; “We were working on a piece of land which was bought by my sister in 1987 when the land guards rushed on us with guns, cutlasses and other weapons to stop us, and before I could explain, one of them slashed me with a knife.”
He bemoaned, “It is pathetic that we cannot develop the land we genuinely acquired in 1987 because these guys are making it impossible for us to do anything.”
He accused the police of being silent on the matter after an official complaint was lodged on the deadly act.
“The police are aware of the situation, and I do not understand why they are not acting.”
Another victim of the ongoing brutalities called Emmanuel Justus Briandt lamented; “I was in the Netherlands when my attention was drawn to the legal suit by a relation, so I hurriedly came down, filed an affidavit to withdraw from the case as a respondent and duly regularized the land with the principal owners of the Kwabenya land, Nii Abbey We; some few months later, I went to my land to develop it and one Ankamah Aryee and his thugs came around and seized all our working tools, pulled down our fenced wall and also robbed us of our money. I proceeded to the property fraud office to report the matter, but it was treated with a pinch of salt.’’
He fumed, “We are being harassed and nobody seems to care about us; I am getting to my wits end and so nobody should not blame me if I take the law into my own hands.’’
Another victim called Mr. Paul Aidoo narrated his ordeal; “I followed all the procedures required by law to get this land, but these land guards would not give me peace; I first bought this land as far back as 1988 and in fact, I even assisted this Township to access electricity and water and they are acting as if there are no security agencies in this country.”
Lawrencia Anyase, a land owner explained that she bought her property in 2010, and was stopped by the land guards when she made an attempt to develop it.