State advised not to pay compensation for land in dispute

The Sole Commissioner of the Judgement Debt Commission, Mr Justice Yaw Apau, has suggested that the state should not pay compensation on current value on any land that has been in dispute among several claimants for years after state acquisition.

Besides, he said, the state should not be saddled with the payment of interest on the value of the land, if the disputed parties did not agree on how much each one of them was entitled to.

“If it takes 10 years, it is you who are devaluing your money, and not the state,” he said.

Mr Justice Apau made the suggestion at the commission’s sitting yesterday following revelations that the state was yet to pay some compensation on some lands it acquired because of the disagreements among claimants to such lands.

He said even some of the claimants did not know the size of their lands, a situation which deepened the controversy, prolonged the settlement period and raised the amount that the state was supposed to pay.

The Sole Commissioner said it was important for the state to come clear on the issue of compensation payment for disputed lands “so that we do not pay money unnecessarily”.

He suggested that the new provision on the compensation payment could be captured in the new Lands Bill. Land cases

The first case was in respect of compensation payment on an 8.47 acres of land acquired at McCarthy Hills in 1995 for usage by the Ghana Water Company (GWCL) for the construction of a reservoir.

The Chief Valuer in-charge of Compensation of the Lands Commission, Mr Kwesi Bentsi-Enchill, told the commission that the Nii Kwei Kuma family was paid compensation for 4.95 acres and the remainder of the land was being competed for by the Nii Afoa, Anto Nyame and Ashalley Blafo families.

He said the three families were yet to furnish the Lands Commission with the relevant documentation covering their ownership of the land. Koforidua Polytechnic

Mr Bentsi-Enchill said the 78.47 acres acquired for the Koforidua Polytechnic was covered by Executive Instrument 54.

He said initially, five people claimed ownership of the land out of which two were given their compensation, leaving three outstanding.

Madam Comfort Aboagye and Madam Beatrice Tia were paid compensation totalling GH¢300,000. Adentan acquisition

There was also the case of Nii Sowah Okataban II versus the Attorney General and the State Housing Company (SHC) with regard to the Adentan acquisition.

The matter went to court in 1994, and judgement was given. It was a default judgement.

The SHC paid GH¢10,000 as part payment of the judgement debt. The SHC took the case back to court and the judgement was set aside in May, 2013.

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