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General News of Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Source: GhanaWeb

Peter Amewu ‘grilled’ in Parliament over Aviation-Adenta land issues

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu was arrayed before Parliament and quizzed by MPs from both sides of the carpet over controversies surrounding the actual owners of the disputed Aviation-Adenta lands.

Peter Amewu botched to address most of questions posed, but narrated the historical viewpoint that, the Adenta Land measuring 632.74 hectares was acquired compulsorily by the State in 1968 under the executive instrument EI 127 as state land.

He added that, following the publication of the executive instrument at the time, the two exculpated land owners namely, Daniel Abotsi Akpo on behalf of the Labadi agbawe family and Kwatia Ahia who was head of the Adenta family submitted claims for compensation which was paid in full by government after assessment.

But when probed by the Minority Leader of the Parliament, Haruna Idrrissu, if government had meet the condition precedent to compulsory acquisition, he was unable to answer.

Peter Amewu was also not the able to respond to questions bothering on the current injunction on the Land, the legal tussles surrounding the Land, whether or not if due diligence was carried before awarding the land to some investors.

Meanwhile Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Michael Aaron Oquaye who was not impressed by the Minister response charged him to adequately abreast himself with all the relevant information and report to the Parliament within a period of two weeks.

Background

Ownership of the land was switched from the Transport ministry to the ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in 2014 to earmark it for a light industrial area.

But the move was contested by the land owners after government failed to notify them on its new decision leading to long litigation as well as a clash with the police which lead to the death of the son of one of the land owners.

The case was however withdrawn from court after successful mediation with government where it was agreed by both parties that the land can be used for the industrial area.