General News of Thursday, 26 January 2017
An Accra High Court (General Jurisdiction), has convicted former Minister of Lands and Forestry, Nii Osah Mills, to a fine of GH¢ 5,000 for contempt of court.
Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr Anim Odame, was also fined GH¢5,000 after he was also found guilty of contempt.
Their conviction on Wednesday is the result of a breach of an injunction order placed on a 614-acre of land acquired by the government for the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) many years ago from La Nkwantanang, near Adenta in Accra, which has become a source of litigation.
During litigation, Nii Kpobi Tetteh Tsuru III, La Mantse, together with the GCAA procured an order of the court barring any of the parties from developing the 614 acres of land.
However, the Ministry of Lands and Forestry went contrary to the court’s order and through a businessman, Mr Clement Gyato, went on to the land to develop the land.
The Executive Secretary of the Land Commission who was aware of the order failed to stop Mr Gyato and two other Chinese firms from developing the land. The La Mantse tried to stop the contemnors hence proceeded to court to cite them for contempt.
The former Minister in his defence told the court that developing the land was based on a Cabinet decision.
The court presided over by Mrs Justice Norvisi Abena Aryene, however, rejected his defence saying a Cabinet order was not superior to the court.
Meanwhile, Mr Clement Gyato and one of the respondents were discharged because the court could not find sufficient reason to convict them as they were not aware of the order.
The contemnors have seven days to pay the fine.