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Regional News of Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Source: GNA

Parties in Kotokuraba market case seek out of court settlement

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The two parties involved in the demolition of the Kotokuraba Market case currently pending at the Cape Coast High Court- have consented to an out of court settlement.

When the case was called on Tuesday at the fully packed court, the Omanhene of Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta VII intervened and pleaded with the court to allow the case to be settled amicably out of court.

The move was to help the two parties come to an agreement to avoid further legal tussle over the case.

Granting the application, the Presiding Judge, Mr. Justice Kwasi Dapaah, said he was impressed by the Omanhen’s intervention for the out of court settlement for which both the plaintiffs and the defendants had agreed to sort out their differences- over the motion of stay of execution.

The motion filed by eight aggrieved traders at the High Court sought an order to stop the demolition of the Kotokoraba market which was to pave way for the construction of an ultra-modern market.

The Court has therefore, upon consultation with Osabarima Kwesi Atta and the two contestants in the case, issued a two-week grace period for the final settlement, and to re-appear on Friday, November 14 for adjudication.

However, Justice Dapaah stated that the interlocutory injunction on the demolition of the old structure was still in force.

Giving his statement of case earlier on, Mr. Kwadwo Tuffour, Counsel for the plaintiffs prayed the Court to grant the petition of the applicants, taking into consideration the dignity of the applicants under Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution.

He further argued that Article 36 of the same Constitution, under the Directive Principles of State Policy enjoined the state to ensure a sound and enabling atmosphere for the national economy -to thrive; which he claimed the plaintiffs were entitled to.

Mr. Tuffuor was of the view that the materials used in constructing the temporary sheds for the market were inferior T&J made of plastic, and that the heat alone inside the sheds was a danger to health and property of the traders.

But Mr. Harry Hayford, Counsel for the defendants challenged that assertion, indicating that the Chinese contractors had confirmed on authority that the materials used in building the sheds were pre-fabricated fibreglass, which were long-lasting, self-ventilatory and fire-proof.

He noted that the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA) had even acted in good faith towards the traders by constructing temporary sheds for them pending the construction of a permanent ultra-modern market facility, adding that, under the Rent Act, the CCMA was not obliged to have done that.

This, Justice Dapaah conceded to and granted the two parties 30 minutes to confer on the out of court settlement which they eventually agreed upon.

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