SSNIT Board, Management contempt case adjourned sine die
Accra, Jan. 13, GNA - Mr Kwesi A. Boaten, Director General of SSNIT, has opposed a contempt application brought against the Trust, Board and its management.
The Board of Directors and Management of SSNIT were cited for contempt in connection with a demolition at Dunkoonaa in the Greater Accra Region.
A suit filed by Mr. J. Ayikoi Otoo, Counsel for the applicants, is praying the court for an order to impose a fine on the management of SSNIT and commit its board of directors to prison for contempt.
Mr Boaten in an affidavit, however, contended that the High Court on July 4, 2008, in its judgment never vested nor declared any title to the plaintiffs.
He averred that in the said judgment, the court did not restrain SSNIT from continuing with development activities on the 507.75 acres of land at Dunkoonaa.
Mr Boaten contended that the land in dispute was compulsorily acquired by Government of Ghana by Executive Instrument Titled state Lands.
SSNIT provided compensation of 1.2 billion cedis (GH¢120,000) to the owners of the land and after the acquisition took possession and commenced with infrastructural development.
According to him, the payment of the compensation was confirmed by an Accra High Court on December 11, 1995.
He said SSNIT had not in any way interfered with the property of the applicants.
"The current Director-General and members of the Board were appointed in December 2008 and June 2009 respectively long after the award of contracts on the land," he said.
Mr. Boaten said SSNIT had invested billions of cedis from the workers contribution into the housing project and had only serviced 167.3 acres of the land.
"But for the interference of the plaintiffs and their grantor stool, some of the contractors would have completed their projects," he added.
Mr. Boaten said neither the police nor contractors had interfered with any property of the plaintiffs.
According to him, the presence of the police on the land was to provide protection to contractors and SSNIT properties and that withdrawal of the police from the land would render SSNIT housing project useless and investment made go waste.
In an affidavit, the applicants averred that an action was taken against SSNIT at an Accra High Court presided over by Mr. Justice Ofoe, an Appeal Court Judge sitting as an additional High Court Judge, which delivered judgment in their favour on July 4, 2008.
The Court granted perpetual injunction against SSNIT, its agents and assigns from interfering with properties at Dunkoona.
It said SSNIT being dissatisfied with the judgment appealed against it, and with the appeal pending, SSNIT sent police and other land guards to the disputed land to prevent plaintiff access to the site.
"In addition, SSNIT hired bulldozers to demolish their properties after which the debris was collected thereby destroying any evidence of demolition of structures including uncompleted houses and fence walls," the affidavit said.
The plaintiffs contended that "the conduct of the Board and Management of SSNIT tended to bring the authority and administration of the law into disrespect or disregard and was aimed at interfering with the course of justice which conduct is not only an offence against the courts but also against the entire community which the court served".
"The defendants have a responsibility to execute leadership. Unfortunately, they have chosen to execute that leadership by a show of brinkmanship, or by reckless disregard of ordinary prudence."
When the case was mentioned at the Court of Appeal (CA) it was adjourned sine die because only SSNIT and its Director General had been served.
The applicants who commenced that action on behalf of members of Dunkoonaa Developers Association are Madam Linda Sagoe, Madam Victoria Allotey, Mr. Benjamin Kwesi Buah-Blay, Mr. James Quaye and Mr. Emmanuel Aseidu Kottah.
The Board of Directors of SSNIT include; Mr Kwame Peprah, Nana Fredua Agyeman, Mr Peter Addo, Mrs Satti Ocran, Mr Theodore K. Gyau and Mr Abraam Tetteh D. Okine.
The rest are Mr Kwame Amo Dako, Mr Robertson N.A. Allotey, Lt. Col. Jacob Draku (Rtd), Mr Solomon L.T. Yemoson, Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Mr Kofi Asamoah and Mr Kwasi Boaten.