JUSTICE APPAU MAD @ 50YR COMPENSATION CLAIM
The Sole Judgment Debt Commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau has expressed strong reservations about a half century compensation for flood victims in the construction of the Akosombo dam the 1960s.
Justice Apua could not phantom how people whose land was flooded in the 1960′s during the construction of the Akosombo Dam could wait for decades to obtain compensation from the government.
Again, Mr. Apua could not come to terms with the fact that the claimants waited for close to 50 years to collect compensation from the state at a current land value.
He was also at a loss as to how an area could be surveyed and measured to arrive at accurate acres ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 – while the whole place was covered with water.
“This Dam was built in the 1960′s and if the land was flooded, how could survey take place in the water,’ he queried.
He added: the portion of land could not have been surveyed and measured before the flooding, and that from personal experience, as a son to a peasant farming family back in the village, it was almost an impossible thing to do.
This revelation came to light when the Principal Technical Officer of Kojo Abban & Co., a Chartered Surveying Company, Samuel Apo Kumah, was subpoenaed by the Commission in respect of compensation paid to some claimants of the affected flooded areas in the Volta, Eastern and Northern regions, during the construction of the Akosombo Dam.
Kojo Abban and Co. was engaged by the claimants to assist them receive their compensations in which they take 10% of every compensation paid to claimants.
Mr. Kumah indicated to the commission that his Company did not undertake the survey of the land but only received a site plan from claimants and subsequently embarked on assessment for the claimants.
He added that the site plan and survey mappings were submitted in 2005, which was used for the assessment and payment of the compensation to claimants.
Mr. Kumah further explained that the company was involved in collecting data at the site to prepare the valuation report for the Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission.
However, all payments of compensation was done by the Land Valuation Division since they have the power to do so, he noted.
He said, the company represented the interest of the claimants since almost all of them, with the exception of the two individuals who had no money to engage lawyers.
The Lead Counsel for the Commission, Dometi Kofi Sopkor in his briefing to the media after the proceedings said the witnesses were brought to establish how they went about their activities on the field, with regards to the measurement of acreages of the land they measured.
Again institutions involved in the compensation payment were invited to the commission to find out whether the monies went to the rightful owners and to avoid future payment of any ridiculous judgment debt.
Mr. Sokpor asked the company to furnish the Commission with the Audited accounts and its registration details to help dive more into the case.
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