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22.11.2004 General News

Committee to hear land disputes inaugurated

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Accra Nov. 22, GNA - Twelve members for Land Title Adjudication Committees (LTAC) mandated to hear and dispose off land disputes in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions were on Monday inaugurated in Accra. This is fulfilment of Section 22 of the Land Title Registration Law, 1986 PNDC Law 152, which provides for the setting up of the LTAC in declared districts.

The law further gives the opportunity for settlement of disputes out of the regular courts thereby reducing the workload at the various courts. The Committees, which are made up of three members each, would start work in March after a comprehensive training in Alternative Dispute Resolution and other processes, would sit twice a week.

Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands and Forestry, in an address noted that the inauguration was welcomed because it was going to bring relief to the public.

Professor Fobih said there were about 150 land cases pending before the Land Title Registry some of which he said had been partly heard. He told the Committee, made up of Architects, Lawyers and Surveyors to review the partly heard cases and commence the process of adjudicating fresh ones.

"It must be noted that members have been nominated based on their experience in legal matters and land related issues and ability to sacrifice their time in the national interest," he said. Professor Fobih, therefore, urged the members to exhibit a high level of moral and professional ethics in their work adding: "It is my belief that they would handle cases in such a way that it would give credence to the adjudication process."

Professor Fobih told the members that a five-day training programme in Alternative Dispute Resolution would be organised to equip them with various tools to ensure quick resolution of conflicts on lands in the districts.

He said cases, brought to the committee would be heard and settled at a minimal cost. However parties, who were not satisfied with the committees' decision, could go to the High Court for appeal. Chief Justice George Kingsley Acquah, who administered the Oath of Allegiance and Judicial Oath on the members, urged them to approach their work with impartiality and ensure that they did not compound issues at the Land Title Registry.

Mr Justice Acquah noted that land disputes were delicate and challenging and urged the members to scrutinise land documents properly so that they could give directions on cases before them. Mr Arnold Agyeman Prempeh a member of the Committee on behalf of his colleagues pledged to justify the confidence reposed in them.

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