Supreme Court to rule on Drobo and Japekrom land case
Accra, June 24, GNA - The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the case between the Drobo Traditional Council and Japekrom Traditional Council to July 23 for judgement.
The court presided over by Justice William A. Atuguba said the adjournment was as a result of the fact that the court was confused as to the number of volumes to the appeal, and as such could not prepare the judgement.
Council for the defendants, Mr Obeng Manu Jnr told the court that there were four volumes to the appeal, saying there were two for the proceedings and two for the exhibits.
Japekrom and Drobo are twin towns in the Jaman South District, in the Brong Ahafo Region. The two paramountcies have been laying claims to parts of the land of the old Jaman Kingdom, which is the centre of the litigation.
The litigation started in 1995, when a subject of Kwasibourkrom part of the stool lands of the Japekromhene named Kojosei went to his oil palm plantation located at Kwasibourkrom to find out that Assemblies of God Church had encroached on his farm land and was in the process of raising building structures.
When he confronted the church leaders he was told the land was allocated by the Drobohene. The gentleman insisted that the church should halt the project and leave the land as Drobohene has no right to allocate his land for development.
The Assemblies of God Church leaders refused and on the March 5, 1996, filed a law suit to restrain Kojosei.
Drobo Traditional Council also co-sponsored the complaint claiming allodia title to the large expanse of land sharing border with the Dormaa, Berekum, the Ivory Coast, Suma and Kwatwoma paramount stools.
This action led to the Japekrom Traditional Council joining the suit as co-defendants with claims to same lands except the land of Awasu, Suma and Kwatwoma.
In his judgment, the justice of peace, Justice Gyaesayour referred the case to the Stool Lands and boundaries Settlement Commission, which at the time had been instituted to hear such cases.
This did not please the Drobo side and they filled an appeal at the Appeals Court in Accra; and the Japekrom side also filed a counter appeal.
In December of 2005, the Appeals Court in Accra passed a judgment referring the case back to Sunyani High Court for Trial de Novo as the Stool Lands and Boundaries Settlement Commission, which had been abrogated and so such cases were heard at the High Court.
This did not appease the Drobo Traditional Council, which appealed to the Supreme Court before withdrawing his own appeal later and agreeing to go to the High Court.
Judgement on the trial de novo was read on June 17, 2009 by Justice E. A. Assan at Sunyani. In his judgment, he declared the Drobo Traditional Council owner of New Drobo Township including the disputed land.
He also declared Japekrom Traditional Council owner of the townships of Japekrom and Kwasibourkrom.
Dissatisfied with this judgment, Japekrom side filed an appeal to the Appeals Court in Kumasi whose judgment was read July 27, 2012.
In this judgment, the three justices unanimously agreed to set aside the decision of the High Court in the interest of justice and declared in no uncertain terms that Japekrom Stool has allodia title to the described lands.
They went on further to order that the Drobo Stool and all its subjects now in possession of any portion of the Japekrom Stool lands seek grants of their lands within Japekrom Traditional Area from the Japekrom Stool.
Drobo Traditional Council having lost the case then appealed to the Supreme Court.