Odododiodio MP threatens legal action against AMA over intended Agbogbloshie demolition

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Nii Lante Vanderpuye (left), the MP of the Odododiodio Constituency, addressing some residents of Agbogbloshie during the meeting. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
Nii Lante Vanderpuye (left), the MP of the Odododiodio Constituency, addressing some residents of Agbogbloshie during the meeting. Picture: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Odododiodio Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, has threatened to take legal action to restrain the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) from carrying out a demolition exercise at Agbogbloshie.

He described the one-month ultimatum given to a section of the residents to vacate their dwellings of more than 1,000 structures to make room for the demolition exercise, as a gross violation of their fundamental human rights.

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“Because we want to seek relief at the Human Rights Court, we have spoken to some human rights lawyers to make sure we are using legitimate means to stop the AMA from its intended and insensitive demolition exercise. We will go to court before the September 15, 2018 deadline,” he said.

Mr Vanderpuye made his intention known last Thursday when he visited the area at Agbogbloshie that had been ear marked for demolition by the AMA.


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Recall

The Daily Graphic reported last Friday that tension was mounting at Agbogbloshie, following the AMA’s decision to carry out the demolition exercise that was expected to render about 8,000 people in the area homeless.

About 1,800 structures, stretching from the Ghana Railways offices area, behind the Accra Brewery Limited, to the Agbgbloshie Station, close to Sikkens, are to be pulled down.

The move by the AMA has, however, been met with stiff resistance from the residents who said they had not been given notice of any such exercise.

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The Assembly Member for the Korle Dudor Electoral Area, Mr Ashong Katai, for instance, described the move by the city authority as unfortunate, especially when there had not been any form of consultation with other stakeholders.

In a response, the AMA maintained that it would not back down on its decision to demolish structures in the area.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the AMA, Mr Gilbert Nii Ankrah, explained that the portion of land on which the structures earmarked for demolition were situated was state property that had been encroached on by squatters over the years.

Mr Ankrah maintained that after the September 15 deadline, the assembly would roll out the next line of action to get the people out of the area.

Defiance

Mr Vanderpuye has, however, described the posture of the city authority as insensitive, insisting that the land was not government property.

“There is history behind this land that the people live on. It belongs to the Gbese Stool. The late Professor Atukwei Okai and other prominent people have their family houses here, so by whose authority is the AMA carrying out this demolition?” he quizzed.

He appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to intervene to stop the AMA from carrying out the intended demolition exercise.

“When we appealed to the President on the ban on fishing for August and September he listened, so we want him to do likewise to stop this arbitrariness by the AMA,” he said.