The supposed controversies over the ownership of the East Legon Hills lands under Kpone Katamanso Municipal of the Greater Accra region, has taken a different twist as Court documents emerged have established the true owners of the said land.
Days ago, some residents including a private developer, one Frank Ashidam, alleged some bloody attacks on them over the said land, which he claimed to have acquired from the right source.
He accused Samuel Laryea and Sariki Saani for tormenting him and other residents over their properties in the area.
Meanwhile, painstaking investigations and checks have revealed otherwise. From our investigation, it has been established that not only the land in question but the whole area belongs to the Ashalley Botwe Family of Teshie.
A high Court Judgement in a case; Suit No. LD 123/2007 between Numo Clement Bortier Kojo, a farmer, Head of Family, acting for himself and on Behalf of The Ashalley Botwe Family (PLAINTIFF) and Nii Otu Akwetey IX, Mantse of Katamanso (for and on Behalf of The Nungua Stool) and Lands Commission (DEFENDANTS), ruled in favour of the Plaintiff.
The said Suit was initiated by on behalf of the Ashalley Botwe family when they claimed their root of ownership from ancestral settlement and the developments after they had a statutory declaration in 1976 registered by the 2nd Defendant (LANDS COMMISSION) as their interest in the land covering 6000 acres.
However, two villages, Nmai Dzorn and Sraha contested the Declaration and Registration, and the issue was investigated by the National Investigation committee.
The litigation that ensued between the two sides ended at the Supreme Court in the case IN RE: ASHALEY BOTWE LANDS, ADJETEY AGBOSU AND OTHERS VS KOTEY AND OTHERS (2003 – 2004).
The Supreme Court in this case, ruled that the areas which was adjudged by that decision to belong to the Sraha and Nmai Dzorn families were plotted at the Lands Commission leaving Ashalley Botwe as the sole owner in possession of the area which had not been contested by the Nmai Dzorn and Sraha in the Statutory Declaration.
Indeed, there have been some other Judgements over the said land.
However, the High Court in this case found that the 1st Defendant (Nii Otu Akwetey IX) after two judgements of which neither site plan was produced nor used, generated a judgement plan which was used to plot the lands at the Lands Commission as land belonging to that family declared by the two earlier judgements.
The Court also established that neither of the two judgments conferred on the 1st Defendant a right to have any land plotted by the Lands Commission for the Katamanso Stool.
Also, site plans provided by the two sides overlap and produce the disputed area covering 1786.27 acres since the University of Ghana Farms falls outside the land claimed by the Plaintiff but within the land claimed by the 1st Defendant.
According to the Court, the Plaintiff does not claim the land covering 14,405.25 acres but areas shown on the plan as disputed area of 1786.27 acres, and that was what the Court found to be the land covered by the Plaintiff’s plotted Statutory Declaration which the 1st Defendant got the 2nd Defendant (Lands Commission) to plot as Katamanso Stool land.
“The conduct of the 2nd Defendant in allowing this to happen is intriguing,” the Court stated.
The Court averred that the 1st Defendant know that he was not a party to the lease between the Nungua Stool and the University but sneaked to the Court to obtain judgement against the University of Ghana and turn round to plot the land not in the name of Nungua Stool or jointly in the names of the paramount stool and his stool but in the name of Katamanso Stool, which is the same Nungua Stool. The Nungua stool had earlier sued him over Katamanso land and obtained judgement,
“This conduct is clearly fraudulent,” the Court stated.
The Court presided over by Justice R. B. Batu entered judgement for the Plaintiff.
The Judge stated that, “I have found that the judgement covering that land was obtained by deceiving the Court. As to whether that judgement stays plotted in the records of the 2nd Defendant depends on the decision of the Nungua Stool.
The 2nd Defendant is within thirty days of service of this judgement expunge from its records the plotting of the disputed area covering 1786.27 acres in the 1st Defendant’s Stool name Katamanso Stool and restore the Plaintiff’s name in its records in place of Katamanso stool.”
Meanwhile, the Ashalley Botwe family has applied for a police report on its investigation over the disputed land.
In its report, the police indicated that the case had gone before a Court and stated that the Court in Suit No. LD123/2007, on 21/12/2017 ruled against the first Defendant and ordered the second defendant which is the Lands Commission to expunge the plotting of 1786.27 acres from Katamanso Stool land, and plot same in the name of the Plaintiff.
“Based on the judgement of the Court, the complainant claimed the land of the suspect and reported the case to the police for investigation,” the police said.
“Results of Police Action: During investigation, it was detected that, there have been several Court Judgements on the land in dispute. The police has little capacity to investigate the case. The case docket is, therefore, closed as “CIVIL.”
Meanwhile, the Ashalley Botwe family denied harassing people on the land but indicated its readiness to take over their land. They, therefore, called on the people who acquired their lands from the wrongful persons to come for regularization of their documents.