A pensioner, John Wellis Welbeck was on Monday sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court over multiple sale of land in Accra.
Welbeck, charged for selling a piece of land to more than one person, pleaded not guilty.
The court presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, however, found Welbeck guilty and sentenced him accordingly. It noted that Welbeck committed a similar offence and was convicted for four years.
The court further ordered Welbeck to refund the money after serving his conviction.
Before handing down sentence, Welbeck told the court that he was prepared to refund GH¢300,000 cedis, being the cost of the land.
Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) P.A Morkeh, however, rejected Welbeck’s prayer to the court saying he was only trying to buy time.
The case of the prosecution was that, the complainant was the manager of Caitec Motor Limited located at Mallam Junction in Accra. Welbeck who resides at Adabraka owns a parcel of land at Abossey Okai near the Total Filling Station
In February 2010, Welbeck approached the complainant and indicated to him that he was offering that parcel of land for sale and the complainant expressed interest in the said land.
Prosecution said per land documents presented to the complainant, a search was conducted at the Lands Commission by the complainant and it was established that Welbeck owns the land.
DSP Morkeh said after negotiations by Welbeck and the complainant, they mutually agreed on GH¢300,000 as the price of the land and the complainant paid the amount.
Surprisingly, whilst the Lands Commission was in the process of granting consent to the assignment made by Welbeck, two more companies, namely, Pin-Han–Lin and Paris Land Ghana Limited were received by the land Commission from Welbeck.
As a result of the conflicting statement from Welbeck, the Lands Commission wrote back to Welbeck on March 2011 and copied same to the complainant.
The complainant, prosecution said, became alarmed over the development and reported the matter to the police and Welbeck was arrested.
He admitted selling the same plot of land to three buyers, including the complainant.