The Ashanti Regional Directorate of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) has served notice of its intention to demolish a one-story building situated at Adum in Central Business District of Kumasi.
NADMO per a letter of August 18, 2020 signed by the Regional Director, Kwabena Nsenkyire claimed the building, marked as Plot No. OTB 127 christened “Old Pioneer” which also housed the late Sam Arthur, former Executive Editor of The Pioneer newspaper has developed some deep cracks and thus showing signs of near collapse.
The disaster management body also noted that following its observation from an inspection by the Emergency Response Team the building has become a death trap to the occupants, traders and unsuspecting bystanders since it could collapse anytime under persistent rainstorms.
NADMO has also recommended that the occupants of what it calls “dilapidated” building should evacuate from the building while the owner takes immediate steps to demolish it and clear the debris because it poses threat to lives.
It has given all the occupants two weeks to evacuate from the building to save their lives and properties.
The disaster managers have since notified the Ashanti Regional Minister, Metropolitan Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Regional Police Commander, Regional Directorates of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana National Fire Service respectively as well as Alfred Obeng Boateng, described as Owner of the property.
Even though Mr. Nsenkyire claims he does not know the owner of the building, he addressed Alfred Obeng Boateng, the CEO of Approachers Group of Companies, as such in the notice of evacuation to the occupants and tenants of the said building.
The NADMO boss, however, says the issue is not about demolition but a question of maintenance.
But Mr. Osei Kwadwo and Paa Kow, spokesman of the tenants and representative of Budukumah Estates, owners of the building in dispute have rubbished claims by NADMO that the building which also houses Kumesh Ghana Limited, is dilapidated and near collapse.
According to Osei Kwadwo, Alfred Obeng Boateng, had since 2010 made moves to take over the building which issue is being contested and pending in court.
He said at the last sitting of the Kumasi High Court (Human Rights), presided over by His Lordship George Krofa Addai, the matter was adjourned to November 30, 2020 and still pending and suspected NADMOs interference as a grand scheme to connive with Alfred Obeng Boateng and powers that be to unlawfully take over the building in disregard of the dispute which is pending before a law court.
Lawyer Anane Quaiba is counsel for the tenants against Alfred Obeng Boateng while Lawyer Nana Kwasi Boatey of Dadson and Associates Law firm in Kumasi is representing Kumesh Ghana Limited in the dispute.
Nana Kwasi Boatey has confirmed the case is before the court and that NADMO has no power to demolish the building. “NADMO cannot overrule the injunction by the court. At best it can recommend to the Metro Engineer necessary actions to be taken.
Meanwhile, spokesman Osei Kwadwo has indicated that the tenants of the said building have officially reacted to the NADMO’s position regarding the disputed building in a letter to the NADMO headquarters in Accra to reconsider its stand.