Sempe Chiefs Angry With AMA Over Demolition

Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra
The chiefs, kingmakers and people of Sempe are seething with anger over what they claim to be a proposal by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to carry out demolition exercise at Akokorfoto in Dansoman, Accra.

According to the Sempe Stool, the AMA was allegedly hiding behind Gbawe Kwartei Family to carry out the demolition exercise with the pretext that the place was a slum.

A news release issued in Accra and signed by Nii Lartey Anum Tetteh, registrar of the Sempe Stool said the stool was ‘compelled once again to communicate publicly on demolition proposed to be carried out at Akokorfoto Dansoman, Accra in relation to property belonging to the Sempe Stool but persistently and deliberately misdescribed by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Gbawe Kwartei family as constituting slum.’

They made it clear that there were at least three sets of litigation between the Gbawe Kwartei family and other entities as to the ownership of the Akorkofoto lands but added that ‘the lands had belonged to the Sempe Stool from time immemorial.’

‘In fact they were leased by Nii Tetteh Kpeshie in the early 1940′s until the 1990′s when the lease terminated. Whereupon the Gbawe Kwartei family upon fraudulent misrepresentation to the court succeeded in obtaining a judgement in their own favour notwithstanding the fact that the reversion in the lease was vested in the lessor or the Sempe Stool. This gave rise to the series of litigation before the courts of Akokorfoto lands.’

The release said ‘while those cases were pending the Gbawe Kwartei family which are a party to each of the cases went to another division of the High Court and obtain an order of mandamus compelling the AMA to demolish the properties as comprising a series of slums.’

They claimed that the said order of mandamus was obtained without involving any of the parties to the current series of litigation on the land and even grantees and occupant of Akorkorfoto were never informed.

By a letter dated May 30, 2014, Yaw Twumasi Ankrah a legal officer of the AMA wrote to the Operations Unit of the Ghana Police requesting that the demolishing be carried out.

In fact, by a further letter dated May 23, 2014, Francis Brakwah, a registrar of the High Court, wrote to remind residents that the court’s order was to be carried out.

‘This is not withstanding the pendency of at least four cases involving the same subject matter, which should have stayed the hand of the registrar,’ the stool insisted.

The release said the properties targeted for demolition were ‘of the first class residential nature’ and added ‘we invite all living in the city of Accra to verify this for themselves as demonstrated by the photographic evidence which we are today presenting.’

‘We urge the people of Ghana to take notice of this day light denial of justice occurring just in the city of Accra. We edge the Chief Justice to intervene in this matter to prevent the AMA from carrying on wanton destruction in the name of the judiciary. We also emphasize that other residents of Akokorfoto have only this morning instituted a fresh action against the AMA and the Gbawe Kwatei family. And we would react again as the situation unfold,’ the release stated.

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