Redco Flats destruction victims threaten legal action

BY: Kukua Nketsia Asiedu
A bulldozer clearing rubbles left after the demolition
A bulldozer clearing rubbles left after the demolition

Some residents whose properties were among 1,000 unauthorised structures demolished around the Redco Flats at Madina have threatened a legal action against the La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly (LaNMMA).

The agitated residents said they had acquired all legal documents covering the land on which they had their properties erected from LaNMMA.

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The victims, numbering about 30, gathered around the Redco Flats last Sunday throwing tantrums at the assembly and questioning why it had to pull down their structures without notice or compensation.

The angry victims called on other property owners to join the action as they finally moved to the palace of the La Nkwantanang chief.

Background   


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The LaNMMA carried out the demolition under strict police protection to rid the area of suspected criminals.

About 5,000 people, including Ghanaians, Nigerians and Ivorians, had their properties demolished.

The Head of Accra Police Operations, Superintendent of Police (SP), Mr Kwesi Ofori, who led the team, said the area had served as a hideout for suspected criminals and had been under police watch for some time.

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However, when the Daily Graphic visited the area last Sunday, there were no policemen on guard but rather some men who said they had been instructed by the assembly to prevent the victims from visiting the site.

Victims’ reaction

Some of the victims who spoke to the Daily Graphic said they would visit the Jubilee House to register their displeasure over their forceful ejection from the land.

According to one of them, Mr Nikoi David Kotey, they had their land titles covering the lands but without prior notice to the landlords of the property, the assembly ordered the demolition.

Mr Kotey said: “I heard the land was going to be developed into markets, stations and mini shopping malls but the assembly didn’t inform the landowners before demolishing the structures.”

He indicated that after the said demolition to rid the area of suspected criminals, they were asked to bring documents of their land titles and permits, which they complied with.

“These permits and titles have the LaNMMA stamp on all of them but the assembly went on to demolish our properties,” he said.

Affected victims

Another victim, Mrs Faustina Anokye, who had part of her sawmill demolished, said the mill had been on the land for eight years without any confrontation from city authorities.

She stated that although she had been informed about the exercise which took place three weeks ago, she was told that it would not affect her business.

According to her, SP Ofori gave an instruction that the sawmill should not be pulled down because it was not identified as part of the structures to be demolished.

Mrs Anokye lamented the loss of her property which she said cost about GH¢100,000.

 “I invested one billion old Ghana cedis in this business only to wake up one morning to see my structure destroyed by an unfair assembly,” she said.

Legal action

Another victim, Mr Faisal Hamid Alhassan, who claimed to have paid huge sums of money to the assembly and to the Lands Registry Department for registration, could not understand why their properties on the land were destroyed.

“My next line of action is to take legal action against the assembly because they gave me the permit. They took my money to process my permit for me. Therefore, if there was going to be any demolition, at least they should have informed me with tangible reasons,” he said.

Appeal

The victims appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to come to their aid so they could get back their businesses.