You are here: HomeNews2017 08 10Article 568278

General News of Thursday, 10 August 2017


Land judge cries as lawyer, developers take over bungalow

An Accra Lands Court Judge, Justice Robin Batu has expressed worry as private developers have forcefully started demarcating portions of his Cantonments bungalow property for development.

The judge who moved into the government bungalow in 2014 disclosed exclusively to Class News’ Joshua Quodjo-Mensah that several private developers have approached him with documents claiming that portions of the bungalow land has been sold to them by the Judicial Service.

However, all attempts to get the service to rectify the situation has yielded no result, the judge said, adding that the service assured him in the past that no such sale had been made.

Quodjo-Mensah visited the bungalow Thursday morning and reported seeing workers erecting wooden pillars on portions of the duty residence after breaking down parts of the wire fence.

Narrating his plight, Justice Batu told Quodjo-Mensah that: “This morning, I was still in bed when my boy came to wake me up that there are some men who have brought some boards and they said they were coming to work here.

"It was some young lawyer and then one Mr Asomaning who he introduced as the man who purchased the land. So, I told them: ‘go and get somebody from the Judicial Service to come and identify you and I’ll allow you to do the work’. The lawyer told me they were only informing me out of courtesy and that they already had their measurement and they were going to do the work.

"I insisted they get somebody from the judicial service. So, I went inside but before I realised, they had started working there. So, they even ignored the advice I gave them to go to the Judicial Service and get at least the Director of Estates to come. So that is the problem I’ve been facing on this land.

“I don’t know as to whether it is government who sold the land or Judicial Service sold the land because earlier, some people had come to this house…and said they had bought the land…that wasn’t the first time.

“People have been coming here with documents that they have purchased the land. One even offered to build me a house so I can move out of the place for them to take the land and I said: ‘I’m only here because I work with the Judicial Service. It is a duty post bungalow and I don’t own the land, and, so, I cannot give it to you on any terms’” he added.

According to the judge, he has not had peace and security since he moved into the bungalow. “Since I came here three years ago, I have had documents of about three or four people who all claim to have purchased this land but I was even shown letters signed by former President John Mahama which forbade the sale of lands in this area, Roman Ridge and some other areas and that those who had purchased such lands, the Lands Commission was ordered to return their monies to them, but I don’t know what has happened then.”

Justice Batu noted that he is worried about his security and the safety of his family.

“My concern is my safety and the safety of my family because any group of characters can walk in here anytime and claim they bought the land and are coming to work.

“I’ve always insisted on the Judicial Service to find me a place or provide me with security but I’ve been told they will move me out but it’s always been like that. Sometimes I’m at work and people come here. The safety of my family, I don’t know, I only have a civilian security man and nobody seems to care,” he bemoaned.

He said the Greater Accra regional police commander has been ordered to post a police officer to his residence but that has not been done.