THE JUDGMENT Debt Commissioner, Justice Appau, was left stranded yesterday, when one Peter Abban, who reportedly used dubious means to secure a judgement debt of GH¢260,000 from the state, failed to appear before him, despite numerous newspaper publications asking him to make himself available to the Commission.
Peter Abban, who also used the name Peter Abbam in documents he used to obtain the fraudulent judgement, had made false representation to the court that his house had been demolished when the Kanda Highway was being constructed, when, in truth, it was the wall of the building that was rather demolished.
Even the Department of Urban Roads insists Peter Abban or Abam did not deserve any compensation, because the said wall had extended to the street. It was based on this that the Sole Commissioner used the media to invite Peter Aban, but despite all the numerous publications, he has failed to turn up.
The Deputy Director in charge of Finance and Administration at the Department of Urban Roads, Phillip Lartey, who was at the Commission yesterday, gave more evidence to support the earlier one before the Commission that the said Peter Abban used dubious means to obtain the judgement.
Mr. Lartey explained that Peter Abban went to court to seek compensation for the demolition of his property during the construction of the Kanda Highway in 2001. However, it was realized that the wall was on land earmarked for road construction. Peter Abban had contracted Segu Consult, a land valuation firm, to value his land after the demolition, and proceeded to court to claim compensation.
He said the key thing the Department of Urban Roads did when the case went to court was to assess and obtain the valuation of the land in question from the Lands Valuation Board, as to whether the demolition affected Abban’s property, and that he was truly entitled to the compensation.
Mr. Lartey told the Commission that after the valuation, it was revealed that portion of the land did not fall within Peter Abban’s property, therefore, he was not entitled to any compensation from the state. He said the Department of Urban Roads wrote to the Ministry of Roads and Transport, and also to the Attorney General’s Department (AG), stating the outcome of the valuation.
Despite this notification, the case continued in court, and Peter Abban subsequently, obtained a default judgment of over GH¢260,000 from the state, although he was not entitled to the outrageous compensation sum.
According to Mr. Lartey, before the payment of the GH¢260,000 was made, some properties of the Urban Roads Department were garnisheed by the Court when the payment delayed.
According to him, the Bank of Ghana informed them that the account of Urban Roads had been debited to effect payment, though the man was not entitled to it. The Director of Feeder Roads, George Afful Aidoo, and a Chief State Attorney, Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, also appeared in respect of the same case, and presented documents to the Commission.
Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie Ansah revealed to the Commission that Mr Sagoe, now a private consultant, who valued the land for Peter Abban to obtain the judgment debt, used to be an employee at the Lands Commission, but resigned later.
According to her, Mr. Sagoe knew all what had transpired between Peter Abban and the state, but still went ahead to work for him to obtain the judgment debt. Commenting on the issue, Justice Appau said the evidence before him indicates that Peter Abban obtained the GH¢260,000 with a land title certificate, which was not authentic. He added that on the land title certificate, the lease for his land was 99 years, but on the actual lease document, it was 50 years, which means the document he used to obtain the judgment debt was a fake.