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15.08.2004 Regional News

Nyanyano chiefs and people appeal to Govt to intervene in land case

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Gomoa Nyanyano (C/R), Aug. 15, GNA- The Chiefs and people of Gomoa Yanyano in the Central Region have appealed to the Government, as a matter of urgency, to intervene and define the boundaries of Gomoa Fetteh, Gomoa Nyanyano and Kokrobitey lands to avoid any mayhem in the area.

Nana Obeng Wiabo V, Chief of Nyanyano said the 12 persons who were arrested last week at the village of Kojo Oku were not land guards as they were portrayed, and that they are indigenes of the area who were only protecting their properties destroyed by workers of 21st Century Company Limited.

The Chief said this at a press conference at Nyanyano on Saturday to explain what he termed "pertinent issues affecting the peace and tranquillity of Gomoa Nyanyano and its immediate neighbours.

He showed a video clip to attest to the fact that it was Nana Issa Barlobey and his brothers who presented Mr Kofi Mr Asmah, Managing Director of 21st Century Company to the chiefs and elders of Nyanyano for the parcel of land and denied that they were land guards. He said they were caretakers of Kojo Oku land belonging to Nana Wiabo and his elders at Nyanyano.

Nana Wiabo said the three sister towns have lived peacefully from time immemorial but of late the cordiality was being jeopardized with the intervention of one Mr Kofi Asmah, the Managing Director of 21st century Company Limited.

He said a large stretch of land belonging to the Nyanyano stool was sold to Mr Asmah by the late Nana Abor Ewusi XIX, and registered at the Regional Lands Commission in Cape Coast.

Nana Wiabo said the people of Gomoa Fetteh are claiming the towns of Gomoa Nyanyano and the Kojo Oku village as theirs.

The Chief said the residents of Kojo Oku village acquired the land in the early 70's from the late Nana Wiabo IV and his elders for farming and rearing of animals.

He said seven years ago, the villagers saw some people demarcating land from the Budumburam area towards their village and they stopped them and informed them that the land belonged to Nyanyano stool.

Nana Barlobey led them to Nyanyano to discuss the acquisition of that parcel of land and a tenancy agreement was made in 1997 upon which 2000 acres was demarcated to Mr Kofi Asmah and his company, 21st Century Company Limited.

He said the land was leased for the purpose of estate development with an agreement that Mr Asmah would build a secondary school block valued at four billion cedis in exchange of the land allocated but up date. nothing had been done on the land.

Nana Wiabo said the people later realised that Mr Asmah was demarcating the land for sale to individual developers as well as institutions such as the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) without regard to the tenancy agreement.

He said it was unanimously agreed by the traditional authorities and Mr Asmah that no portion of the land would be sublet to any group of persons or companies without the prior consent of the Chief of Nyanyano and his elders.

Nana Wiabo said the people later realised that Mr Asmah was deliberately not complying with the agreement and stopped issuing him with consent letters for registration of his documents and they also detected that he was falsifying the site plans and re-shading additional plots for sale.

He said the problem arose when there was a misunderstanding between the chief of Kojo Oku, Nana Barlobey and his elders and Mr Asmah when he (Asmah) started claiming portions of land beyond what was given to him. The matter was consequently referred to the Gomoa Assin Traditional Council and Mr Asmah was directed not to go to the disputed area until the misunderstanding or impasse was amicably settled.

He said Mr Asmah flouted the orders of the Traditional Council and forcibly went there to work and that started the confrontation resulting in casualties and arrests of three of Mr Asmah's people.

Nana Wiabo said he later wrote to the Central Region Lands Commission to put a stop to signing and registration of any portions of the land and since then he has confiscated a number of indentures presented by Mr Asmah for endorsement.

He said it is surprising that since the impasse started, he had not been contacted by the Police until only last Friday when he was invited. Mr Joseph Kofi Yeboah, Counsel for the Nyanyano Traditional Council called on the Police to make "objective and unbiased" investigations so as not to deny the villagers their legitimate lands.

He said he was surprised to see in an Accra daily that the Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations has ordered the immediate re-arrest of Issah Barlobey on a case of assault when the Commissioner had not investigated the case.

It would be recalled that on Monday, August 9 issue of the Daily Graphic, the Kasoa Police with the assistance of the Police Mobile Force were said to have arrested 12 suspected land guards for attacking workers of an estate developer at Kojo Oku. 15 Aug. 04

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