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East Legon Mempeasem demolition: Victims petition Presidency over use and abuse of state power

• The president has been petitioned over the demolition of some properties at East Legon-Mempeasem

• The exercise which took place between April 26 and 27 is said to have caused damages running into some ¢300,000

• The President has been petitioned by individuals and institutions to investigate the matter

The victims of a demolition exercise in April at East Legon Mempeasem have petitioned the Office of the President over what they say is the use and abuse of state power by some individuals which has seen them suffer a collective colossal loss of GH¢3,000,000.

Dated May 21, 2021, the petition is signed by a total of 26 individuals and institutions of Land and Property owners at the East Legon Mempehuasem catchment area (spanning from in between Trinity Theology College to Ideal College).

GhanaWeb in April reported that, the property owners in their case to the President said, on Monday and Tuesday 26th and 27th April, 2O21, “some persons claiming to have been sent by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry, with an acclaimed backing of the Ministry of National Security, entered our properties without any notice to us and caused massive demolition of our properties.

“These persons who claimed to be working for the State under the instruction of one Clement Gyato came with a COVID-19 branded vehicle accompanied by four police officers and started their wicked acts of demolishing our properties with threats to maim and or shoot at any person who obstructs their acclaimed national sobstructs exercise.”

Detailing the history behind their acquisitions of the lands they occupy, the petitioners say they individually acquired the lands from grantors who are mostly chiefs and people of the Sanshie family of Mempasem, have leased documents and some assigned documents from legitimate grantees of the Sanshie family.

“Mr. President upon obtaining our respective grants of these lands, we had presented same to the Lands Commission who had processed same and issued to some of us Title Certificate whilst others are under processing.

“Majority of us Petitioners herein have occupied and possessed these lands between 15 to 20 years ago and within this period made massive investments on the land by way of building structures in the form of fence walls, buildings under construction and completed buildings, where some of us have lived and continued to live with our families,” the petition read.

The petitioners added, since their occupancy spanning a period of around 20 years, no institution, individual or government had to ward them off their lands or protested their development of the said lands. The affected property owners also point out that they find it rather dodgy how the Lands Commission which has over the years processed most of their documents and have issued them Land Title Certificates, and thus acknowledging the fact that their source of the grant is legitimate, was being brandished by the people who demolished their properties as one of the institutions behind their exercise.

You can also watch a video of some of the property owners airing their grievances:

“It is therefore preposterous for a group of persons to come in a COVID-19 branded vehicle to start demolishing our properties without any notice upon the pretext that same is owned by the Government.”

“We also wish to respectfully draw your attention to the fact that, assuming without admitting that the Government has an interest in these scattered parcels of land or owns same, we believe there is the need in a democratic environment as ours to have been heard on the circumstances upon which we found ourselves on the land. Indeed, it is for this reason that institutions are established, and or built and to be encouraged to be functional.

“Our petition besides seeking to protect our rights as citizens also takes cognisance of your Excellency’s recent statement in which you issued a disclaimer in not having any interest in taking away people’s lands. We urge your high office to look into our matter which by virtue of the actions of the persons involved seeks to create contrary impressions about your Government,” they added.

Read the full petition below:

Source: Ghanaweb

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