Apesemaka Stool of Bekwai accuses MCE of unlawful seizure of land
The Apesemaka Stool of Asante Bekwai in the Ashanti Region is accusing the Municipal Chief Executive of Asante Bekwai of flouting a court order, which has restrained the assembly from developing a parcel of land that has become a bone of contention between the two.
A Kumasi High Court on April 21, 2020 restrained the MCE, Kwaku Kyei Baffour and the Attorney General from entering a 4.08 acres of land at New Asanso in the Bekwai municipality. Addressing the media in Kumasi, Nana Fosu-Ansah, the Asanso Apesemakahene accused Kwaku Kyei Baffour of using all manner of machinations in the last four years to take their land away from them, including the use of police as land guards to intimidate them.
According to the chief, the previous government, led by then MCE, Mad. Mary Juantoah, wrote officially to the stool that they needed a piece of land to build an office for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The former MCE, he continued, followed up the letter with a personal plea to the palace to request for the land.
He regretted that the current MCE is not following the same principle. According to him, MCE Kwaku Kyei Baffour even sued him at Bekwai Magistrate court, accusing him (Nana Fosu-Ansah) of trespassing on the property of government, but failed to pursue the case, resulting in the court ruling in his (Nana) favour.
According to the worried chief, the land was compulsorily acquired by the colonial government without due compensation to the stool.
“The following government agencies and departments; Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Forestry Commission, Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, Immigration Service, Ghana Police Service and Municipal Assembly’s residential areas are situated on Apesemaka stool land and the entire area is known as New Asanso,” he said.
The worried chief further told the journalists that even though the Kumasi High Court had retrained the Bekwai MCE from entering the land, he cut the sod to construct offices for the National Health Insurance on the land.
He asked the journalists if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government respect the Rule of Law, because what the MCE has done to defies logic.
The MCE, Kwaku Kyei Baffour, has meanwhile denied the claim that the assembly has been served with an injunction order.
In a phone interview with The Chronicle, he explained that government had already started developing the land before the case was taken to court.
According to Kyei Baffour, the said land is government property, which was acquired sometime in 1927 during the era of the colonial government.
Whilst the Bekwai MCE mentioned that they regard traditional leaders as owners of the land, he argued that there has not been any injunction, neither has there been a ruling in favour of Nana Fosu-Ansah.
Asked why the assembly did not follow up with the case they sent to court, he responded that they intentionally delayed because they have to prepare well.