BA Dares Police Over Land

Opanin Kwame Acheampong
Opanin Kwame Acheampong, an 85-year-old man who resides at Sunyani, has challenged the Brong-Ahafo Police Command to produce documents covering the 250-acre land it claims to have acquired on the Sunyani-Abesim road.

Opanin Acheampong was responding to a warning recently issued by the Police to stop residents in Sunyani from encroaching on the said land which they acquired some years back to construct police barracks and training depot.

The octogenarian, who accused the police of employing force, intimidation and harassment to snatch his ancestral land, claimed the police had no land in the area.

He told DAILY GUIDE that members of his family had been working on the land under dispute for more than a century now.

Opanin Acheampong said about 55 years ago, the Ghana Police Service was granted 400 acres of the land by the Sunyani Traditional Council for construction of police barracks and training centre, but no compensation was paid to the family.

He said during the tenure of former IGP Nana Owusu Nsiah, the police administration brought a letter that they wanted to cede part of the land back to the affected family because the police could not develop all the 400 acres for the intended purposes.

In 2011, the Sunyani Traditional Council also petitioned the police administration for a re-demarcation of the land on grounds that the initial offer was overgenerous. It wanted it to be revised to 200 acres instead.

The re-demarcation of the land was finally approved by the police administration in April 2012.  The Lands Commission and the Town and Country Planning Department were tasked to undertake the exercise.

Opanin Acheampong however said the police had forcefully entered into the portion left for the family and taken an additional 50 acres, making theirs (police) 250 acres out of which they have sold potions to developers.

‘To our surprise, agents of the police have unlawfully entered our side demarcating it without our knowledge, consent, concurrence and have been intimidating, harassing my people who are working and farming on the land. They have also demolished some of the structures being constructed there,’ the old man lamented.

Showing court documents to DAILY GUIDE, the old man has dragged the Police Administration represented by the Attorney-General including some State institutions and individuals such as the Lands Commission, Brong-Ahafo Regional Surveyor, Sunyani Municipal Assembly, Asare Michael Yeboah of McKenzie Sports Wear, Kingsley Osei Bonsu alias Zico, Kwaku Acheampong alias Burger, Kwabena Boakye, Kwasi Ofori and Anthony Owusu Sarbato, all of Sunyani, to court over the disputed lands.

Opanin Acheampong and Madam Akosua Pokuaa, being the heads of their family, have sued the defendants claiming general damages for trespass and an order of injunction.

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FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani

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