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23.03.2007 General News

Association Sues SSNIT

Some members of the Dunkoona Developers Association have sued the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) at the Fast Track High Court, claiming special and general damages for trespass and unlawful damage to property belonging to them.

They are also seeking an order to restrain SSNIT from interfering with lands on which their buildings had been constructed or were to be constructed, an order for the cancellation of the Land Certificate NO. GA 18630, Vol. 09, Folio 227, dated February 14, 2003 issued to SSNIT because it was obtained by fraud.

The suit was filed by five persons and on behalf of members of the association. They are Madam Linda Sagoe, Madam Victoria Allotey, Benjamin Kwesi Buah-Blay, James Quaye and Emmanuel Asiedu Kottah.

In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs said between 1990 and 2004, they purchased various plots of land from the James Town Ngleshie Alata Stool for purposes of constructing houses.

They said the 115 members of the association owned land at the disputed area and 56 houses had reached various stages of development, with some going beyond the foundation, window and other levels.

According to them, they were unaware of any interest of SSNIT in any portion of the plots they acquired and as far as they knew, the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) had serviced plots in the area.

The plaintiffs said after 56 plots had been developed, with their owners enjoying peaceful development, SSNIT posted notices on some property and invited their owners to contact the Trust for discussions pertaining to “regularisation of land title in respect of SSNIT land at Dunkoona”.

They said those members who honoured the invitation were told by SSNIT that the Lands Commission had granted lease of the land to SSNIT and that when the association got wind of that, it investigated the claim.

When the association contacted the James Town Ngleshie Alata Stool, the plaintiffs said the stool members said they had been negotiating with GREDA for the lease of 430 acres of its land to GREDA and that the land sold by them was outside the 430 acres.

“However, by some curious circumstance, the Lands Commission was brought into the picture, unknown to the James Town Stool, apparently because the PNDC government had issued E.I. No. 5 of 1993 to compulsorily acquire the parcel of land the stool was offering to GREDA,” statement said.

According to the plaintiffs, instead of GREDA fulfilling the conditions to enable it to acquire the 430 acres, it met at an extraordinary general meeting on April 21, 1994 and unanimously agreed that the executive council should be mandated to re-open negotiations with SSNIT.

Among some of the proposals were that the entire 430 acres of land offered to GREDA by the government through the then Ministry of Works and Housing be given to SSNIT for joint development efforts, SSNIT should pay for the land on behalf of GREDA, it should lay the infrastructure and then the serviced plots offered to GREDA on specific terms of payment.

Story by Stephen Sah