By Cecil Mensah
Aggrieved Chiefs of Adoagyiri,Ntoaso, Owuraku and Akwamu in the Nsawam- Adoagyiri Municipality of the Eastern Region, have vowed to take over lands that belongs to them by hook or crook and have given government a fortnight to heed to their demands or they would resort to any permissible means to press home their demands.
The Chiefs, issued this warning at an emotional press conference, addressed by Odesempa Amoako Ampong, the Dwuotoahene of Adoagyiri.
“we have kept our calm as law abiding citizens, however after this press conference, any furthur silence from government would embolden us to advice ourselves,” he warned
He said, their patience has run out and they cannot sit idle, while this untoward injustice is perpetuated against them.
He explained that various government officials that have dealt with them, have failed.
“We are under a certain belief that such disappointments have terse endorsements from the Presidency,” he added
He said, the aggrieved citizens of Adoagyiri, Ntoaso, Owuraku and Akwamu, are the original and lawful owners of 635.20 acres of land situated at the aforementioned areas in the Eastern Region of the Republic o Ghana.
He noted that on February 22, 1977, the said land was compulsorily acquired by an Executive Instrument E.I 31state lands (Nsawam- site for pineapple production) Instrument,1977.
He continued that the land was compulsorily acquired without the knowledge and consent of the Chiefs and people of the town.
“No compensation was paid to any of us (Chiefs and Elders) or any individual and the land which was acquired by the state has never been used for past thirty seven (37) years for the production of pineapple for which it was intended”
They are giving the government a fortnight to respond positively to their demands or they will resort to any means permissible by law to press home their demands.
According to him, before the acquisition of the said lands, parts were used as cemetery, royal mausoleum and settlements for some inhabitants in the four towns and the lands are still being used for such purposes.
He said the four towns are expanding at fast rate “we have no other land to settle thereon, except the land which were acquired under the Executive Instrument(E.I) 31/77.
He explained that until recently that Chiefs and Elders of the four towns got to know that the land has been compulsorily acquired by Government.
He noted that at the moment some parts of the land in question have been developed with facilities like churches, schools, hotels, residential facilities and others with amenities like electricity and pipe borne water.
In March 27, 2012. We petitioned the late President John Evans Atta-Mills to have the said lands released to the lawful owners, at the time the lands was not used for the purposes mentioned above.
He said the late President upon receipt of the petition, authorize the then Minister of Lands ,Forestry and Natural Resources to have the matter investigated.
In a reference letter number OPS 284/Vol. 2/12/933 dated June 4, 20 and copied to Okoannadwo Afutu Dompreh II, Chief of Adoagyiri and other colleague Chiefs.
He said, while waiting for directives from the then Minister,the Chiefs and Member of Parliament, Frank Annoh- Dompreh approached the sector Minister, Inussah Fuseini and he promised to initiate action on the petition.
The aggrieved chiefs stated that the land in question has been leased out to Carriedem development company limited on October 4, 2013 by the government for a period of fifty (50) years without informing them.
Under article 20 clause 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992, it provides as follows:
Where the property is not used in the public interest or for the purpose for which it was acquired, the owner of the property immediately before the compulsory acquisition, shall be given the first option for acquiring the property and shall on such re- acquisition refund the whole or part of the compensation paid as provided for by law or such other amount as is commensurate with the value of the property at the time of the re-acquisition.
He stated since the state acquired the land in 1977 through E.I31/77 the state has not paid any compensation to the owners of the land.
Apart from the 635.20 acres of land which is covered by Executive Instrument E.I31/77 and has been leased out, another 135.54 acres of land covering the entire townships of Ntoaso and Owuraku and a greater part of Adoagyiri have also been leased out by the Eastern Region Lands Commission, Koforidua, for and on behalf of the government of Ghana also without the consent and the knowledge of the Chiefs and people of the towns involved, all to Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and her Carriedem development company limitedq.
According to the agreement’ covering the lease of the whole 770.74 acre land, the company paid a paltry, wicked, unpardonable,unforgiving and unimaginable price of Gh 5.00 per acre for one year for fifty (50)years.
Nana konadu Agyeman Rawlings has managed to register the whole 770.74 land within eighteen days.
He concluded that this was in reference to the land title no. RE 3020/2013 and LVD/ER 3433/2013 dated 22/10/2013