Dispute over land ownership: Court restraints Akroponghene, agents

Nana Appiah Sarfo Kantanka, the Chief of Akropong in the Ashanti region, has been restrained from undertaking any form of activities or any development on a disputed land until the final determination of the case pending before it.

The Mankranso District Magistrate Court, in granting an application by the plaintiffs, also restrained the defendants, their agents, assigns and privies from cultivating any new farms or alienating any part of the land in dispute.

Yaw Sarfo, Akosua Dufie and Albert Osei-Banahene, Head of the Aduana Family (the plaintiffs) have sued the defendants for declaration of title to and ownership of all parcels of land in dispute situated between Akropong and Kunsu.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for trespass, recovery of possession and perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants, their assigns and agents from interfering with the title, ownership and possession of Aduana Royal family of Yabi that acquired the said land from the then chief of Akropong, Nana Kwabena Sarfo in 1925.

The said land is bounded on the North by Kunsu, on the South by Akropong, on the East by the main road leading from Akropong to Kunsu and on the West by Akropong land.

The Akroponghene (second defendant) claims to have sold the land to Nana Kwadwo Asuman Kubi, the first defendant.

The court, presided over by Her Worship Juliana Millicent Ocran (Esq), heard that recently, when the third plaintiff went to the land in dispute, he realised that the first defendant was undertaking illegal mining on the land while the substantive case was pending before the court. As a result, the plaintiffs filed a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction to restraint the defendants and their agents from undertaking any illegal mining activities on the land in dispute.

Degraded farmlands in the Dwenewoho enclave of the land in dispute

They claimed the illegal mining activities on the land by the second defendant and the use of heavy earth moving machines including excavators had caused waste to the disputed land and impacted negatively on the vegetation.

The plaintiffs argued that the vegetation of the land had been destroyed by the intrusion and galamsey activities of the defendants and that unless the Court restraint the defendants, the entire land would be destroyed by the time the case is determined.

According to the plaintiffs, they had suffered loss and damages from the wrongful act of the defendants and that the intervention of the Court is needed to preserve their property from further destruction by the defendants through illegal mining.

They  argued  that if the defendants  are  allowed to undertake illegal  mining on said land and the case is  determined  in their  favour, they would have no land  to take hence the need  to restrain  the defendants  till the final determination of the case.

The plaintiffs  also argued  that  if the defendants  are allowed  to undertake illegal mining  and they (plaintiffs) win  the case, the  damage  cannot be compensated  in monetary terms.

The defendants, however, contended that the plaintiffs do not have the requisite capacity to initiate the action against them.

They also claimed that the Akropong Stool had been granted the land since 1958.

But the court, guided by Order 13(1) of the District Court Rules, 2009, upheld the application of the plaintiffs on the grounds that they (plaintiffs) had legal or equitable rights in the disputed land which, if not protected by the court, will cause irreparable damage to them.

It said the fact that WuzzahWuna Ghana Limited  had entered  the land, which had been a subject of God concession, with earth moving machines  to mine the land  is enough evidence  that the activities  of the defendants  and their agents  will change  the state  of the  land  and  cause  the plaintiffs/applications  to suffer  irreparable damage that monetary compensation may not  be adequate  remedy.

The court therefore deemed the grant of an injunction as just and convenient and accordingly granted the application for injunction to restrain the defendants until the final determination of the court by the court.

Hearing of the substantive case continues on April 29, 2024.


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