Court Rules Against Jake
An Accra High Court has dismissed a suit filed by former Tourism Minister, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, against the Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Justice, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, seeking damages for trespassing on a property under legal contention.
He had also sought a court injunction restraining agents of government from remaining on a-Ridge residential area property, which was allocated to him during his tenure as minister but also failed.
The court further held that it was irregular for Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey to bring a case which was already pending before the Supreme Court to the High Court for hearing, and ordered him to go back to contest the case in the Supreme Court.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey sued the AG and Minister of Justice for a declaration that the entry onto No. 2 Mungo Street Ridge Residential Area, Accra, by the Defendant or their agents without the consent of the Plaintiff was wrongful, seeking damages for trespass and injunction restraining the defendants acting either by themselves or their agents, servants or assigns from entering onto, remaining on or in any other way interfering with the Plaintiff's possession of the property till the hearing and determination of the case brought by Okudzeto Ablakwa against him in the Supreme Court.
Deputy Information Minister, Okudzeto Ablakwa, in his personal capacity, is seeking an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the Chairman of the Lands Commission and the Chief Registrar of Lands at the Land Title Registry from registering the title in the name of Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey alleged that the Lands Commission leased the property to him by lease dated September 15, 2008 for the purpose of re-developing the property into three blocks of four storeys each as part of a redevelopment scheme.
Opposing the claims, however, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice argued that the then Minister for Works and Housing allocated the land to Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey without the approval of Cabinet.
She said this was illegal, since by a Cabinet decision dated January 12, 1999, a committee on the redevelopment of residential properties, headed by the Minister for Works and Housing was set up.
However, the minister, whose committee was required to submit its report to Cabinet for consideration and approval, had failed to refer Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey's application to Cabinet for approval.
The A-G argued further that in the circumstances, the purported allocation and sale of the said property was without authority and it was thus void.
Thus, the High Court upheld the AG's argument and dismissed Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey's application for interim injunction, together with the suit itself. — GNA