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12.12.2011 General News

Sarkin Zongo of Kumasi challenged in court

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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A member of the Zongo Community  in Kumasi has initiated a legal suit against the Sarkin Zongo of Kumasi,    Alhaji Omar Farouk Saeed.

Mohammed Abbas has filed a writ before a Kumasi High Court, seeking a declaration that plot Nos.10 and 13, Block III, at Bompata in Kumasi, which serves as the palace of the Sarkin Zongo belongs to the entire Zongo community, including Dagombas, Frafras, Hausas, Wangaras, Gonjas, Busangas and Moshies among others.

The plaintiff wants an order of the court that the ownership of the said house by the defendants was null and void.

Also in the dock with the Sarkin of Zongo are the trustees of the property in dispute.

The writ, filed on December 7, 2011, said the Sarkin Zongo, on whose instructions the second defendants are acting, lacked the capacity to alienate any portion of the said plots for any purpose without the approval of the entire membership of the Zongo Community.

The plaintiff described the Sarkin Zongo as a trustee of the property, and sought a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants, their agents, servants, and assigns from interfering with the said plots of land.

In a statement of claim, duly served on the defendants, Mohammed Abbas said on the strength of a search conducted at the Lands Commission, the plots of land in question were leased in March 1993 between the Government of Ghana as trustee, and the Sarkin Zongo Community of Kumasi for a term of 99 years, effective January 1, 1950.

The said lease was registered on April 16, 1997 under title No. 17313 and that there was no issue of encumbrance regarding the land.

Abbas, said as an allodia title holder, the Sarkin Zongo and the co-defendant cannot initiate any activity on the land, let alone, commercialise it without the approval of the entire membership of the Zongo community.

According to the plaintiff, the defendants had demolished a building on plot Nos. 10 and 13, Block III, which served as the palace of the Head of the Zongo Community.

He claims part of the palace was first built by one Maigida, the first opinion leader of the Zongo Community, through proceeds from levies imposed on traders who brought livestock from the North for sale in Kumasi.

According to the statement, one Malam Osumanu took over the building when he paid an   indebtedness of Maigida.

Upon the death of Osumanu, Malam Salawu became the Sarkin Zongo of Kumasi and ejected the children of Malam Osumanu by an order of the Local Tribunal.

The plaintiff stated that after Malam Salawu was deported by the British Government in 1934, occupancy and possession of the palace rotated among successive Sarkin Zongos, until it got to the turn of Alhaji Omar Farouk Saeed as the present Sarkin Zongo, first defendant in the suit.

Alhaji Omar Farouk Saeed, 63, a businessman who deals in bicycle parts at Alabar in Kumasi, succeeded Alhaji Abubakar Ali III.

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