The Police Administration has commenced inquisition into alleged persistent interference by a senior police officer at the national headquarters in land cases being investigated and prosecuted by the police at Katamanso, in the Kpone Katamanso Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The action followed a petition by a Godrich Nii Arday Ankrah, of the Okley Family, in Katamanso, against Chief Superintendent Mr Solomon Ayewini Aboyinga at the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The petition dated January 27, 2022 and headed – ‘THE UNLAWFUL USE OF POLICE AUTHORITY BY C/SUPT MR SOLOMON AYEWINI ABOYINGA FOR HIS CONSTANT AND PERSISTENT INTERFERENCE IN LAND CASES BEING INVESTIGATED AND PROSECUTED BY THE KATAMANSO POLICE’ reads;
I write for and on behalf of OKLEY FAMILY as they act through myself, who is their representative on this matter.
My name is Godrich Nii Arday Ankrah, to humbly request the urgent intervention of your good offices to investigate and immediately halt the repeated and illegitimate use of authority by C/Supt Mr Solomon Ayewini Aboyinga, in criminal complaint I lodged at the Katamanso Police Station involving the use of armed wielding land guards in attempts by some faceless developer in continuously committing acts of trespass and attempting to violently take over our family land.
Our family’s land, which we have owned and occupied for several decades is evidenced by the Land Certificate No. TD. TD 221 Vol 019 Folio 949.For the avoidance of doubt, no court in Ghana has set aside our family title in the Land and under Section 119 of Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036).
Our interest in the Land remains indefensible against all claims unless set aside specifically by a court and any subsequent judgement affecting our grantors will not affect our grant. From the foregoing, it is quite clear that our family has the valid title to the Land, which has not been set aside by any court and that there is no legal basis for any person whosoever to enter the Land without our consent and furthermore disrupt activities of our grantees in a very callous and violent manner.
The 1992 Constitution also guarantees the non-interference of his land without due process or legal basis. These encroachers, knowing that our family has a stronger claim and title have resorted to using gun wielding land guards to terrorise us instead of resorting to the courts.
These land guards first entered the land earlier last month, December 2021. They have since continued the occupation of the land and have begun pegging the land and have threatened to deal with anyone that comes close to the land, and in most instances they fired shots indiscriminately.
As law abiding citizens, we rely on the police to protect us from these criminals and unlawful intruders, especially with the passing of the anti-land guard laws.
As such we lodged a complaint at the Katamanso Police Station and these individuals were arrested with overwhelming evidence of their nefarious activities. They were then put before the courts, which I must say was very commendable.
However, it is unfortunate that some police officers have an intention to rather insulate and provide protection for these thugs to breach the law.
The accused persons failed to appear before court, bench warrant was issued but the above named senior police officer instructed the Katamanso Police to withdraw the case that was before court of competent jurisdiction and bring it to him at the CID Headquarters.
The said police officer again sent one Inspector Amanor to the Katamanso Police Station to release the exhibit motorbikes that were being used by the vigilantes, which had been impounded by the police.
These thugs have become emboldened and brag about that even the IGP cannot stop them and that we are at their mercy.
To this end, your timely intervention to put to an end this attempt to intimidate, extort and ultimately take over our land is greatly appreciated. We are available to provide any additional information required in your investigation and action.
On February 2, 2022 the IGP responded to the petition and informed the petitioner per a letter signed by the Chief Staff Officer, Chief Superintendent, Mr Alex Kwame Sarfo-Adu, of the receipt of the petition and action being taken.
“Receipt is hereby acknowledged to your letter dated 27th January, 2022, in respect of the above subject matter addressed to Inspector General of Police, with copies to the Director General/Legal and the Criminal Investigation Department.
I am directed by the Inspector General of Police to inform you that, your petition is under investigation and the outcome will be communicated to you in due course, please,”
As the land guard activities persist unabated, the land owners also maintained their vigilance on the property.
On March 31, 2022 the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the Ghana Military Police, following a report that a particular Staff Sergeant Kwakye Bernard was allegedly performing what was described as ‘reconnaissance duties’ on the track of land before the arrival of the invading group, invited the said Senior Non Commission Officer.
At the end, S/Sgt Kwakye made an undertaking and promised never to set foot on the tract of land, failure which legal or disciplinary action will be initiated against him.
The said land is sandwiched between Katamanso and Amrahia, on both sides of the road, before the historic Katamanso Forest.