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11.06.2004 Regional News

Wheta Traditional Council demand compensation for land

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Koforidua (E/R), June 11, GNA - The Wheta Traditional Council is seeking compensation for lands acquired by the Government in 1961, for the Afife Rice Project and payment of royalty to the chiefs. The Council described as illegal the means by which the traditional land in the Volta Region was acquired and also contended the naming of the Project as Afife and not Wheta.

The Paramount Chief of the Traditional Area, Togbe Ashiakpor IV, made the request, when he appeared before the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), in Koforidua on Thursday.

He demanded reparation for property and food crops lost through the process of locating the Project.

Togbe Ashiakpor said farmers on the land were forced to abandon their farmlands when a group of Russians embarked on the Project. He said when he was enstooled in 1962, he petitioned the Government for redress but to no avail.

Togbe Ashiakpor said in July 1982 a group of soldiers led by one Captain Ashiagbor arrested him and two other citizens. They were kept in cells at the Ho Police Station for almost two weeks and were later transferred to the Gondar Barracks where they were tortured and locked up in a guardroom.

He said one Major Gbedemah questioned him about a plot to kidnap Chinese workers who took over the Project in 1982, but he denied any involvement.

He also appeared before the National Investigations Committee where Professor Kofi Awoonor questioned him about the ownership of the Afife land.

Togbe Ashiakpor said he and the two other detainees were subsequently released.

Two separate committees were constituted by Government in 1982 on the issue but remained inconclusive.

The family of the late Kwame Adjimah, who was allegedly arrested and killed on the Tema Motorway, during an attempted coup d' etat on June 19, 1983, also appeared before the Commission to demand the truth surrounding his death.

A cousin of Adjimah, Mr Seth Joachim Adjimah alleged that the body of the deceased was dumped into the sea after his murder.

Kwame Adjimah, a member of the June 4 Movement who was in detention was accused of attempting to break jail when Corporal Alidu Giwa staged the coup.

He was allegedly captured at the Kpedze border post in the Volta Region, while attempting to flee the country.

Rexford Badu, a retired Police Officer, who said he was wrongfully dismissed from the Service in 1983 appealed to the NRC for his reinstatement and the payment of all his entitlements.

He said he was on duty on May 1983, when 16 remand prisoners escaped from Police custody, but through his efforts 12 of them were re-arrested.

Witness said after a three-week search, he managed to re-arrest the remaining three.

He appeared before a Service Enquiry Committee at Sogakope and was demoted from Constable Class One to Class Two, before his eventual dismissal from the service.

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