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08.12.2003 General News

Kufuor's Man Behind Siezure Of Rawlings' Land

By Chronicle
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THE CHRONICLE’s investigations into the saga of the ex- President Jerry John Rawlings’ Akwamufie land lawfully acquired from the Kronti Adonte family and the chief of Kyease, Nana Ansah Prem III has established that Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan, has an interest in the land. The ambassador, Dr. Baffuor Adjei Bawuah, has been accused of being the brain behind the conduct of Nana Prem in retrieving the land from Mr. Rawlings. Dr. Bawuah, described as the current highest bidder in a purchase bid, had earlier bought about four acres of plots from the chief at the cost of ¢24 million, close to the plot of Mr. Rawlings. In a bid to annex Mr. Rawlings’ land to his, the ambassador was said to have offered ¢52 million for the ex-president’s portion, The Chronicle has learnt. This paper gathered that as soon as he paid the ¢52 million, Nana Prem, got a bankers’ draft to refund the ¢36 million to Mr. Rawlings to make a cool ¢16 million increase in the bidding value. A search conducted by The Chronicle on the disputed land indicated that Mr. Rawlings’ land is surrounded by the ambassador’s plot and a source said because of this, he is “making all efforts through his caretaker (one Charles) to put more pressure upon the chief by increasing the amount on the land so that he could kick the ex-President out and get the whole area for himself.” The six plots of land purchased by Mr. Rawlings from the Kronti Adonte family on March 30, 2002 is “bounded on the North by lessors’ land measuring 200feet more or less on the south by the Volta (Kpong) and measuring 200feet more or less stream/lessors’ land measuring 298.2 feet more or less on the West by the lessor’s land measuring 300 feet more or less” at the cost of ¢36 million. Dr. Adjei Bawuah, at that higher price, was said to have bought all the lessor’s land, which is located at the North South and West. But Mr. Charles Opoku, the special assistant to the ambassador, denied the assertion that the withdrawal of the land from the ex-President was a result of Dr. Adjei’s higher bid and denied knowledge of Mr. Rawlings’ plot in the area. He admitted that his boss bought plots of lands from Nana Ansah Prem in June 6, this year at Akwamufie. “I am not aware that the former president has bought a land in the area. It was only on Adom FM and other stations that I heard that there is something like that. Those that I knew were Kwame Attah and Kelvin who have built a house near the ambassador’s house. “Again I can tell you that the ambassador cannot exactly point where his plots are because I pay and do everything on his behalf. I have not even seen any plot that is being referred to as belonging to the ex-President,” he told The Chronicle. Flapping documents to substantiate his position on behalf of the ambassador, Mr. Opoku noted that it was untrue that his boss had persuaded Nana Prem to retrieve the controversial land, adding that at present, three chiefs have approached him to convince the ambassador to purchase some plots totaling 77.9 acres from them, of which he (Opoku) was liaising with his boss. Last week, the Kronti Adonti family and the chief of Akyease, Nana Prem, withdrew six plots of the land the chief had sold to the former president under the pretext that he was under persistence pressure from the family members to do so. They accused the ex-President of not doing anything for the people of Akwamufie during his tenure of office. Nana refunded the amount to the ex-President through the Tetteh Quarshie branch of Ghana Commercial Bank and prevailed upon him not to hesitate to find out from the family if he (Mr. Rawlings) was not clear with their decision. In a notice for an order of no entry dated October 9, 2003, filed from the Kronti Adontehene, Akwamufie and chief of Kyease Akosombo to Mr. Jerry John Rawlings, the Kronti Adonti family resolved among other things that, “all privileges, assessment appurtenances whatsoever granted you on the said land have been withdrawn with immediate effect - if there is anything you want to know, don’t hesitate to contact us.” But Nana’s claim was debunked by Mr. Oheneba Kwesi Oppong Akoto, saying Nana was rather under pressure for not accounting to the family for the number of plots he had sold to the investors, including that of Mr. Rawlings and the ambassador. Meanwhile, Mr. Opoku, who promised to provide more details of the developments on the land issue, failed to respond to The Chronicle calls at the time of going to press

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