Mrs. Nana Mensah Nyarko, the woman who accuses Mrs. Georgina Wood of complicity in the confiscation of her house, says Mrs. Wood could become the next Chief Justice, but her conscience will continue to plague her for helping her father to annex her house.
She also said the court of public opinion and the three Appeal Court rulings in her favour, will judge Georgina Wood, Efua Ghartey, (the wife of the Attorney General) and Justice Agnes Dodzie for the various roles they played in making her homeless.
"Georgina Wood lied on oath when she said she did not get in¬volved in the dispute between her father and me, regarding my house because on July 1st 1987 she and some family members led thugs to vandalise my house and she was arrested by the Dansoman Police", Mrs. Nyarko told Public Agenda.
In a letter dated June 24, 1988 to the Chief Justice, Mr. Nyarko stated, " On July 6, 1987, my wife and I protested to you against the role Her Lordship, Miss Georgina Lutterodt had played in an attack against us on C.D.R. Day, July 1, 1987 by thugs hired by her father, Dr. W.L Lutterodt."
" I built my house when I was 30 and at 63, I have been made homeless by Georgina Wood and her father" she said and indicated her readiness to carry her case to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights for adjudication.
According to Mrs. Nyarko she bought her land from the Amissah family together with the former IGP Kwakye, Mr. Adams, a former police commissioner, the proprietor of Datus Preparatory Schools, the Sackeys and the Lutterodts in 1975. She said out of the blue in 1976, Mr. Lutterodt initiated a court action at the District Magistrates Court at James Town, claiming plot 132 in addition to plot 131. But the court threw the case out.
She said after 1976 they tried to settle the case out of court, but Mr. Lutterodt's terms were not favourable, so she rejected them. Thereon, Mr. Lutterodt took the case to the Appeal Court in 1985, which upheld the terms of settlement instituted by the Circuit Court, urging the plaintiff to keep to the boundaries to be demarcated by Mr. E.A. Addo, a licensed surveyor of Asylum Down.
Mrs. Nyarko explained that ten years after they were asked to abide by the first terms of settlement, Mr. Lutterodt went again to the Appeal Court to review the terms of settlement. The Appeal Court ruled that "It seems to us that the application is an attempt to have the whole case reopened for the plaintiff to have a chance to claim more land than what the trial court granted him. We do not think he should be allowed to do so. The application is unmeritorious and the case is dismissed with ¢100,000 cost to the respondent."
Yet again, Mr. Lutterodt initiated a third appeal which was heard by Justices N.Y.B Adade, Enoch K. Edusei and P.V. Osei-Hwere, who ruled that the "terms of settlement'" dated May 7, 1985 be filed and adopted by the court as the judgment of the court."
Attempts by the State Housing Corporation, which processed the land to set the records straight hit a snag. A letter dated August 17, 1987 from the SHC to the District Commander of the Odorkor Police Station said the SHC had tried to settle the matter amicably between Mrs Nyarko and Dr. Lutterodt to the satisfaction of both.
"Unfortunately, Dr. Lutterodt's stand had always been uncompromising and had refused to respond to our invitation. His actions have been inconsistent as he sometimes called on us to find solutions to the problem and on other times warned us not to interfere in a previous court ruling on the issues", the SHC letter said.
The SHC's position on the dispute was that Dr. Lutterodt developed his plot first and came to the SHC for regularization of his documents, which was approved. "This area included a development not for him, but for one Joseph Sackey. Mr. Sackey was contacted and he confirmed that Lutterodt once informed him that he has used his house as an out house to obtain his (Lutterodt) release", said a report by the Chief Surveyor of the SHC.
"A check on the Deed Registry confirms that Mensah Nyarko's property is not affected by Lutterodt's transaction with SHC", the report further noted. The concluding part of the report said, "thus, I propose that the three tenants, Plot 131B for Joseph Sackey, plot 132 for Mensah Nyarko and plot 131 for Dr. Alfred T. Lutterodt be recognised. Mensah Nyarko's application for release is pending or processing. Lutterodt's frontage should be limited at the end of the gate and Mensah Nyarko's takes the rest and new boundary between 131 and 132 to be determined."
Mrs. Nyarko said despite the SHC's recommendations, in addition to the terms of settlement upheld by the Appeal Court in 1995, Dr. Lutterodt applied to the Land Title Registry for land titles 57 and 58 to be registered under his name. This was advertised in the Spec¬tator to which she raised an objection in a letter dated January 31, 1995 to the Chief Registrar of Lands.
The 63 year old woman said she was surprised that after the death of her lawyer, E.D. Kom and the late Chief Justice Abban, who at a point also heard the case, the case found its way back to the High Court for fresh hearing. In a petition dated June 8,1999, Mrs. Nyarko wrote, "Your Lordship would recall that I protested vehemently to you against this case which Your very Lordship as an Appeal Court Judge then dismissed as 'an attempt to get more land', being brought to the lower court."
"Now the worse we feared has happened. Justice Agnes Dodzie on the 8th of June 1999 has given judgment to the effect that we should vacate our house in which we have lived since 1976, pull it down and in addition pay judgment costs of ¢5 million and additional cost of ¢2 million."
In another petition to President John Agyekum Kufuor in April this year, copied to the Acting Chief Justice, the Chairman of the Council of State, the Judicial Council and CHRAJ, Mrs. Nyarko said some months back she met then Attorney General, Papa Owusu Ankomah, who advised her to see the wife of the current Attorney General, Mrs. Efua Ghartey, who is a personal friend of Mrs. Wood to have the case settled.
"We agreed to the proposal given to us by Mrs. Ghartey to apologise to Dr. Lutterodt. Then Mrs. Ghartey asked us to withdraw all complaints and reports we had on Georgina's file from Judicial Service and she would make sure the demarcation was done. We complied with Mrs. Ghartey's suggestion and withdrew all our reports from her file, including her arrest by the Dansoman Police for attacking us in July 1987", she explained.
She stated that after Mrs. Efua Ghartey had succeeded in 'getting us to clean up Georgina Lutterodt's records to enable her get a future promotion, Dr. Lutterodt turned round after two weeks (November 26, 2004) and painfully threw us out of our house and subsequently demolished it after carefully removing and appropriating all our roofing sheets and window frames."
She said Dr. Lutterodt would not even listen to personal appeals from the Bishop of the Methodist Church, Rt. Rev. Hodasi, Superintendent of Mount Olivet, Rt. Rev. Awotwi-Prat and his own Rev. Ministers, Laryea Adjei and Peregrino Brimah.
"Goergina Wood claims she is chairperson for the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), she should have used her father's case as an example to prove to people that she is sincere about ADR", Mrs. Nyarko added.
"What I am asking is that justice must be carried out. At 63 I have been made homeless by the connivance of three women; Georgina Wood, Agnes Dodzie and Efua Ghartey."
Culled from the Public Agenda