From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
The ownership of a building on Plot No. 8, 25th Street at Atasomanso, in Kumasi, has been in dispute since 2016 and is currently being contested in court by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, Daniel Okyem Aboagye, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Chairman, Mr. Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi.
The property is said to have been acquired by Mr Aboagye at an auction in November 2016, upon which the court issued him with a certificate of purchase on November 15, 2016.
Earlier in 2016, one Samuel Tuffour had also claimed ownership of the property, but could not contest the case in court, hence he was barred from making any claims.
Even though the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Noble Dreams Financial Services, Ezekiel Owusu Afriyie, had, in July 2016, been forbidden by the court from making claims of ownership to the property, he (Ezekiel) filed a motion in January 2017 seeking a declaration that the sale of the property in a judgment debt of Noble Dream Financial Services Limited to the Bantama MP was fraudulent.
The plaintiff also sought an order of the court to set aside the sale of the property and general damages against the MP (fifth defendant) for trespassing. The MP was also to be restrained from interfering in the said property.
However, on May 2, 2018, a Kumasi High Court, presided over by His Lordship Mr. Justice Nicolas M.C. Abodakpi, dismissed the action and gave judgment for possession by MP Aboagye, with a cost of GH¢15,000 against the plaintiff, Ezekiel Owusu Afriyie.
On May 11, 2018, when police officers and bailiffs went to the property to enforce the court orders, Mr. Bernard Antwi Boasiako is reported to have forcefully resisted the takeover, claiming ownership.
Chairman Wontumi claims he has a 99-year lease to the property, which he acquired from Ezekiel Owusu Afriyie and not Noble Dreams Financial Services, on which strength he resisted the takeover last Friday.
According to him, he is the third person to have owned the property, having passed on from one Frank Adu Donkor and Ezekiel Owusu Afriyie.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel Owusu Afriyie has filed a motion on notice for suspension of orders (Stay of Execution) by the court, made on May 11.
In a notice of appeal filed at noon on May 11, 2018, the applicant, aggrieved and dissatisfied with the ruling of the High Court (Commercial Division), presided over by his lordship Dr Richmond Osei-Hwere, appealed against the whole ruling, said to be against the weight of affidavit evidence.
The end of the legal tussle between the two NPP gurus seems not to be ending anytime soon. While Chairman Wontumi intends to take action against the Bantama lawmaker for entering his premises with police officers, bailiffs and machomen, the MP, on the other hand, is considering citing Chairman Wontumi for contempt of flouting a court order and resisting possession.