Regional News of Thursday, 19 June 2014
The Kumasi High Court last Monday upheld its earlier ruling which reverted the land being occupied by the Ghana Railways Company Limited (GRCL) in Kumasi to its original owners - the Asem Stool.
This followed the dismissal of an application for stay of execution filed by the company against the Asem Stool of Kumasi.
The court upheld the arguments by counsel for the Asem Stool, Mr Hans Kwadwo Kodua, that the company failed to file the motion for the stay of execution within the 21 stipulated days.
The court had on March 18, this year, ruled in favour of the Asem Stool giving it the ownership of the land.
It took the company 24 days to file for a stay of execution that would prevent the stool from enforcing the earlier ruling. Mr Kodua said since GCRL did not file its motion within the stipulated time, it simply meant that there was no application pending. He explained that the judgement was a declarative one which was not executable in law and thus, not amenable to appeal.
The Presiding Judge, Mr Justice Edward K. B. Apenkwa, thus upheld the argument for the defendant and subsequently awarded GH¢1,000 costs against the GRCL. The over 200-acre land spanning Adum Railway Station, through the Asafo Neoplan Station to Asokore Mampong, was thus reverted to its original owners from whom it was acquired for railway transportation.
GCRL filed for a stay of execution against the court’s earlier ruling in March this year after the land owners had taken the company to court to repossess their land.
In its earlier ruling, the court noted that GCRL acquired the land for railway administration but had defeated that purpose by leasing it out to private property developers.
It said GCRL did not have the authority in law to have granted the lands to private developers for commercial purposes and by “their own action, the company does not need the lands for the purposes they were acquired.”
The land was leased to the Ghana Railway Company (GRC) for 100 years, a period which has expired and with the expiration of the tenure, the land should have automatically reverted to the original owner.
By the ruling, the Western Rail Lines Project, which is to reactivate rail transport between Kumasi and Tarkoradi, remains in limbo.