Dr Sipa Yankey, CEO of Ghana Gas
The completion of the long-awaited gas infrastructure could witness further delays following a court injunction placed on the project.
The Omanhene of the Eastern Nzema Traditional Area, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III, obtained a Sekondi High Court injunction restraining the Ghana Gas Company from carrying on the gas project at Atuabo in the Ellembele District of the Western Region.
This writ of summons filed by the Awulae against the company and others, maintained that none of the defendants (the company and others) had lawfully acquired the land from him.
In his statement of claim, he (plaintiff) averred that Ghana Gas Company had presented customary drinks to him long ago but he asked the company to come back to negotiate the price of the land.
The plaintiff said the defendants never came back for the negotiation and instead went ahead to commence the project in earnest.
He averred that all calls on the government ‘to do the proper thing’ fell on deaf ears and more lands were appropriated by the company without any lawful or legal document.
The plaintiff said crops were destroyed by the company without payment of any compensation.
In their statement of defence, Ghana Gas Company admitted that they had indeed presented drinks to the chief and admitted that no legal lease had been drawn up to formally acquire the land, but claimed that they were in the process of doing so.
Granting the interlocutory application, the court, presided over by Justice K. Akrowia, expressed surprise that such an important government project could proceed without due diligence.
The court said it was wrong for the company to have gone ahead with the project on the land without recourse to the chiefs and people of the area.
The judge, however, indicated that because of the importance of the project, he was not going to grant a permanent injunction.
He rather gave a limited 14-day injunction within which Ghana Gas was to contact the chief and legalize their stay on the land.
Per the court’s order, all works on the project cease until the regularization was done.
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