Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate wins land case against La Mantse

BY: Mary Mensah
Dr Prince-Joseph Ayiku, the CEO of Lakeside  Estates company limited
Dr Prince-Joseph Ayiku, the CEO of Lakeside Estates company limited

The Court of Appeal has declared Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate Ltd the legal owner of the land measuring 2911.53 acres and situate at Katamanso in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

In a unanimous decision, the court presided over by Justice I. O. Tanko Amadu, held that the property covered by Land Title Certificate No.0513 formed part of Nungua Stool Lands.

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The appeal was to contest a judgement of the High Court (Human Rights Division) Accra dated July 7, 2016.

The court awarded a cost of GH¢25,000 against the plaintiffs, Nii Dr Tetteh Kpobi Tsuru III of La Stool (La Mantse), SFA Limited and Fodas Estate Limited.

Defendants’ land


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The plaintiffs sued Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate and others at the High Court and wanted a declaration for the land covering about 49,420 acres, including the defendants’ land.

The plaintiffs further, as part of their reliefs, asked the High Court to make an order directed at the Land Title Registry to cancel the transaction between Nungua and Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate Limited.

The plaintiffs sued the defendants at the High Court, Accra seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration of title in favour of the plaintiffs of all that piece or parcel of land covering an area 49,420 acres which included the land belonging to Lakeside Estate.

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Expunged transaction

The plaintiffs further, as part of their reliefs, asked the High Court to make an order directed at the Land Title Registry to expunge the transaction between the Nungua Stool and Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate Ltd.

La Mantse, the first plaintiff, claimed that his stool was the allodial owner of a large tract of land stretching from its present location at La on the South sharing boundary with the Gulf of Guinea and Teshie Land on the South East, Gbatsuna Land, Adjiringano land, Otano, Auman land up to what was termed the Big Pillar and the Santeo lands, stretching further to Kissima lands, Otwoo Okuman land on the North-West by Abokobi land, Adenkrebi land and Oyibi land, all measuring 49,420 acres.

The second and third plaintiffs, SFA Ltd and Fodas Estates Ltd, were grantees of Nii Dr Tetteh Kpobi Tsuru III.

The defendants contested the plaintiffs’ claims and in their statements of defence, disagreed with the position of the plaintiffs and argued that Nii Dr Tetteh Kpobi Tsuru III and others were stopped by limitation, laches and acquiescence.

Access granted

Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate Ltd counterclaimed against the plaintiffs for declaration of title to the 2911.53 acres of land covered by Land Title Certificate No. TD 0513 and situated at Katamanso in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

At the end of the trial at the High Court, the court found it was not true that the subjects of La were in possession of the disputed land and that they granted access to Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate to occupy same.

The High Court also found from the evidence that it was Nungua Stool which leased the disputed land to Black Watch Cattle Breeding Farms and its successors, being Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate.

Based on these and other findings by the court, the High Court stated in its judgement dated July 7, 2016 that the first plaintiff, Nii Dr Tetteh Kpobi Tsuru III, had woefully failed to prove his case against any of the defendants.

Counterclaim

In passing judgement, the High Court observed that subjects of La were not the owners of the land in dispute.

Again, the court noted that Lakeside Estate had succeeded in making a case against the plaintiffs but ruled that about one-quarter of Fodas Estate land fell within the property of Lakeside Estate.

It was this concluding part of the High Court judgement which sought to give part of the Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate land to Fodas Estates Ltd that Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate and Nungua Stool appealed against.

Subject of dispute

The Lakeside Estate appealed the judgement at the Court of Appeal, which said it was wrong for the trial judge to carve out a portion of the land on the basis that that portion was a subject of dispute.

Finally, the Court of Appeal, in its 110-page unanimous judgement upheld the appeals of Agri-Cattle Lakeside Estate Ltd and Nungua Stool.

The Court of Appeal ordered that the portion of the High Court judgement granting a portion of the land, the subject matter in favour of SFA Limited and Fodas Estates Ltd, be set aside.