Regional News of Tuesday, 15 April 2014
The Judgement Debt Commission yesterday heard that the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly did not acquire the 2.55-acre land on which it has its offices from the rightful owners.
The Co-ordinating Director of the assembly, Mr Elias Kweku Mensah, told the Sole Commissioner, Mr Justice Yaw Apau, that although compensation of GH¢14,915.09 had since been paid to the Abadji Family of Somanya, there was no evidence of acquisition of the land.
Mr Mensah said there were “not enough records as to how the assembly took the land”.
“The land that the assembly occupies is not covered by an E.I., My Lord. It is not a government acquired land. I find it difficult to say here and now how the assembly occupied it, but before the Abadji Family took the assembly to court, the assembly had already developed the land and it was ruled that it pay compensation,” he stated.
He, however, cleared an initial confusion about whether both the assembly land and the Yilo Krobo Senior High School land, for which compensation of GH¢19,185 had also been claimed for 3.25 acres, were connected, telling the commission that the assembly land was different from that of the school.
Mr Mensah explained that the assembly had taken no steps to regularise acquisition of the land in question and also disclosed that it had acquired other pieces of land for further development, since there was no space for expansion at the assembly’s present location.
Yilo Krobo Senior High School
Representing the Yilo Krobo Senior High School earlier, its headmaster, Mr Matthew Lorgmor Bawah, told the commission that the state acquired 64.57 acres for the school in 2001 but the school was facing encroachment from individuals and had already lost about an acre, while it had used only a quarter of the land.
He said the school was currently in court over further claims of ownership of portions of the school land and that three families had already laid claim after the payment to the Abadji Family.
On whether the school land had been properly demarcated, the headmaster said pillars had been erected after a re-demarcation had been carried out.
State acquisition of lands
Commenting on the manner in which the school land was acquired, Mr Justice Apau said it was not in the power of the overlord of the Konor of Kroboland to give out family lands to the state.
“It was even wrong for the Abadji Family to have sued the Yilo Krobo Assembly and the school alone, because it was the state that acquired the land. So if you have to sue anybody at all, you sue the Lands Commission, which handles matters for the state and then the Attorney-General,” he added.