Refugees Board Delays Compensation Payment
Justice Yaw Apau
Owners of the parcel of land taken over by the government to host refugees from Liberia during the brutal civil war in the West African country have not been paid compensation.
The Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debt heard that the payment delayed because the Ghana Refugee Board disagreed with the valuation report on the Ekwarmkrom lands in Buduburam in the Central Region, which led to the delay.
WO1 Agyei Boadi (Rtd) has petitioned the commission, presided over by Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal to get the government to pay compensation for the lands acquired for the refugees and had cited the Attorney-General, Ghana Refugee Board and National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in the suit.
The Attorney-General, through a Chief State Attorney Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, had told the commission that the court had directed the parties to settle the matter out-of-court at the instance of the plaintiff.
‘He served us with a valuation report and we forwarded it to the Ghana Refugee Board and NADMO but the board disagreed with the valuation report. They failed to appreciate the facts of the matter and that has stalled the process leading to the payment.’
She, however, said the processes leading to the acquisition of the land had not yet been completed adding, ‘it is still in motion.’
Yesterday, the Land Valuation Board of the Lands Commission officials appeared before the commission to explain the valuation and re-valuation of the land in 2008 and 2011 respectively.
Samuel Amah Tackey, a Deputy Chief Valuer flanked by his boss Kwesi K. Bentsi-Enchil, said in 2008 the board, upon a request from the AG, approved a valuation of GH¢119,760 and when it was re-valued in 2011 it was GH¢92,273.
‘In 2008, we were asked to consider the value of the property and the rental value of the farmland. We were to determine the value from April 4, 1989 to the date judgement was to be given. In 2011, the AG did not advise on the rental value because the rate was already specified,’ Mr. Tackey said.
Mr. Bentsi-Enchil also added that ‘the initial request from the AG’s Department specified a land area of 0.38 acres and also asked for a determination of rent from April 4, 1989 till the date of judgement. I am not sure what transpired at the AG’s Department but in 2011 they came back to us to do the re-evaluation once and for all. The title deed quoted 0.12 acre and that was used in the valuation update.’
Earlier, Nesbit Emmanuel Akai Nortey, Area Manager of High Street Branch of the Ghana Commercial Bank, flanked by Countess Lartey, who is a GCB legal representative, testified on the compensation payment to some policewomen who were retired prematurely from the service.
He said an account was opened on December 12, 2005 and closed on August 8, 2007 specifically to receive payments for judgement debt for the police women.
By William Yaw Owusu
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