Colonel Mahama Iddrisu, Acting Judge Advocate General of the Ghana Army, on Tuesday, said the Ministry of Defence was not aware that compensation had been paid in respect of the Second Infantry Brigade lands in Kumasi.
‘Ministry of Defence does not know how the land was acquired as there are no records to that effect. We do not have detailed records about how the land was acquired.
‘All that we can say is we are trespassing on the land. We never got the consent of the land owners since 1962 when the Infantry Brigade was established in Kumasi,’ Col. Iddrisu said.
Col. Iddrisu was testifying on behalf of the Ministry of Defence at the Commission of Enquiry into Payments from Public Funds arising from Judgment Debts and related processes in the payment of 11 million Ghana cedis as compensation in respect of the lands on which the Second Infantry Brigade was built in Kumasi.
Col. Iddrisu said the Ministry was also not served with any information about the payment of 11 million Ghana cedis as compensation. He said the Military only received notices of entry into judgement in 2009: ‘We then wrote to the Kumasi High Court and wanted to find out why the Ministry was not served to appear before it’.
Col. Iddrisu, however, admitted that it was the Attorney Generals Department that represented the Ministry in legal cases, ‘but in this case, it did not get back to the Ministry after the court had slapped payment of compensation to the land owners’.
He said the Attorney Generals’ Department put up a strong case at the beginning but when the case came up, they rather invited a witness from the Lands Valuation Board to appear before the court instead of the military.
Col. Iddrisu said the agitation for compensation on the land started in 2007. Air Commodore Ismail Abdul Rahim Abbass, Director General in charge of Logistics of the Ghana Armed Forces, said the military was still in the process of acquiring the land on which the Second Infantry Brigade was established.
He said: “Records available showed that we are in the process of legally acquiring the land which the Brigade is occupying’.
Air Commodore Abbass said government had duly acquired a portion of the land which it was ready to develop but some government institutions encroached on the other portion of the land that was not properly acquired.
He said the Ministry was in the process of acquiring another portion of the land but many claimants filed for compensation which the Ministry was working out to identify the rightful owners for compensation to be made.
He said some valuation was carried out and GH¢7,200.00 was to be paid as compensation to the rightful owners if they were identified.
Air Commodore Abbass said he was not aware about payment of any compensation for the second portion of the land because the rightful owners had not been identified.
The Commission also wanted to know whether the land was not a grant from a stool but the Military said it was difficult to substantiate because there are no records to attest to that.
The Commission asked the Ministry of Defence to produce all documents pertaining to the land during its next appearance. Nana Kwaku Duah Appianin III and Nana Akyiaa Tiwaa, Asaaman Kanin Hemaa and Abusuapanin Kwasi Kontoh, Kofinini Abusuapanin filed a suit against the Ministry of Defence and the Attorney Generals Department and the trial proceeded in Kumasi without the Ministry of Defence. The case was decided at the Kumasi High court on July 16, 2009.
It would be recalled that the Commission of Enquiry into Payments from Public Funds arising from Judgment Debts and related processes (C.I79) invited Nana Kwaku Duah Appianin III and two others to report to the Commission in respect of the case.Nana Kwaku Duah Appianin III and Nana Akyiaa Tiwaa, Asaaman Kanin Hemaa and Abusuapanin Kwasi Kontoh, Kofinini Abusuapanin versus Ministry of Defence and the Attorney General were joined to the Suit no. C1/233/08.
The Commission also hinted that there are still rivalry claimants to the land and did not understand why the court went ahead to ask government to pay compensation to Nana Kwaku Duah Appianin III and Nana Akyiaa Tiwaa, Asaaman Kanin Hemaa and Abusuapanin Kwasi Kontoh, Kofinini Abusuapanin.