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Lands Commission pulls down buildings on ‘stolen land’

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe

The Lands Commission last Tuesday pulled down some illegal structures on its land located behind the SIC headquarters on the Ring Road at Cantonments in Accra.

The demolition exercise was carried out at about 10 a.m. when officials from the Commission stormed the area to stop workers at the site.

One Captain Kobea, who claimed to be an operative of the National Security, had taken over the 2.7-acre land and started putting up a storey building and other structures on it.

The said Captain Kobea, who had defied a series of warnings from the Lands Commission to keep off the state land, reportedly hired land guards to evict all squatters on the walled land and started building the structures.

As a last resort to stop the illegality, the Commission stormed the site at about 10 a.m. with armed police officers to demolish the buildings.

Demolition

When the Daily Graphic got to the site at about 11:30 a.m., the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Alhaji Sulemana Mahama, and some armed police personnel were supervising the demolition exercise.

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Numbering about 12, the armed police personnel were on the high alert, while a bulldozer was busily bringing down the storey building and other structures on the land.

Workers who had been hired by the supposed encroacher to put up the structures watched on as the buildings were demolished.

None of them was willing to talk to the Daily Graphic, but the paper gathered that they were waiting to know their fate from their ‘employer’ before they would leave the area.

Explanation

Alhaji Mahama explained to the Daily Graphic that the land was allocated to the Lands Commission in the early 1960s, but had been lying idle because of lack of funds to develop it.

“A certain Captain Kobea who is purporting to be from the National Security started claiming ownership of the land so we took steps to stop him about three times but he remains adamant, he said.

“The said Captain Kobea indicates that he is a National Security operative, but our checks at the National Security indicate that there is no such person there. He is just using the name of officialdom to perpetrate illegality,” he said.

Alhaji Sulemana said there were no documents anywhere that showed that the land belonged to any private entity aside the Lands Commission.

He stressed that the commission would do everything, including going to court, to prevent the encroacher from taking over the land.

Alhaji Sulemana cautioned contractors and other workers in the building industry to do due diligence before they entered into any agreement for any building project.