AG Calls For Sanction On Volta Basin Compensation
Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, Attorney-General
The Office of the Attorney General has recommended sanctions for public officials cited in a report by a professional group that was tasked to look into the Volta Basin resettlement programme.
The AG after analyzing the report wrote a letter on July 11, 2014 to the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts, stating her position on the report released by the Independent professional group.
The professional group investigated the entirety of the resettlement programme including payment of compensation after the Akosombo Dam was constructed over the Volta River.
Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, a Chief State Attorney appearing before Sole Commissioner Justice yaw Apau yesterday said ‘the AG’s office is of the view that the report be forwarded to other agencies under the ministry for further investigations.’
She said the AG wanted the police to build dockets for public officials mentioned in the report.
The AG’s advice also had a bearing on the directive given by the same office (AG) where the Land Valuation Board now Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission was given the power to pay compensation directly to the traditional authorities instead of Administrator of Stool Lands.
Then Attorney-General, Joe Ghartey, through a letter signed in 2008 by eminent jurist Justice VCRAC Crabbe, gave the mandate to the Land Valuation Board to be in charge of such compensation payments, a move the Administrator of Stool Lands described as unconstitutional.
Since the directive, there have been sharp disagreements between officials of the Land Valuation
Division and the Administrator of Stool Lands over the compensation for lands even though provisions of Article 267 (2) of the 1992 Constitution mandated Stool Lands to act in that capacity.
Justice Apau advised that following the AG’s letter to the commission, the AG should write back to the Lands Commission to establish which authority should be in charge of the distribution of compensation. In the commission’s view, the constitutional provision was unambiguous and there was no need for the AG to issue that directive.
Earlier, Senior State Attorney for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Sarah Fafa- Kpodo had requested for an adjournment to enable the ministry to search for documents in a case in which the government was sued by two people who were involved in a lorry accident
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