Court declares Odai Ntow family as rightful owners of South West Kwabenya lands.
An Accra High Court has entered judgement in favour of the Odai Ntow family over the South West Kwabenya lands in Accra.
According to the court, the Odai Ntow family are the owners of the South West Kwabenya lands.
In a suit filed by Offei Kwaku Mante and substituted by Reverend Alexander Aryeequaye and Nii Amu Mante against the defendants, the plaintiffs in an amended statement of claims indicated that they are the rightful owners of the disputed land and have exercised ownership rights over them for years.
The case of the plaintiff is that he is the head and lawful representative of the Nii Appenteng family of Pokuase-Otublohum, and that his ancestor, Nii Kofi Appenteng, a warrior, hunter and a member of the Akwamu tribe together with his children settled at Pokuase around 1934 where he was granted a parcel of land measuring 416.88 acres upon which he built cottages and carried out his farming and hunting activities.
According to the Plaintiff, his ancestor named the area Ambuanda, adding that having been in effective possession and exercising overt acts of ownership, the Appenteng family in 1960 caused the land to be surveyed and in 1990, the family made a statutory declaration, declaring the Appenteng family as owners of the Ambuanda lands registered as land registry number 969/1993.
This, the plaintiffs said was the state of affairs until defendants started committing trespass on the subject land.
However, according to the first and fifth defendant’s family, represented by Moses Mensah, they were in possession of their lands without any challenge until 1904 when a dispute arose over the land.
The presiding judge, Justice Emmanuel Amo Yartey in his ruling said the plaintiff failed to provide enough proof of the acquisition of the land, adding that ” throughout the case, the plaintiff’s family claimed that the land in dispute was granted them by elders of pokuase but the law is that the proper person to prove the title of a grantee is the grantor, however surprisingly, the plaintiff failed to call any member of the said family in proof of their acquisition of their land.”
“The failure to call such material witnesses is clearly fatal to their case so per the totality of evidence led, it is my candid opinion that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that they are entitled to the reliefs they are seeking.
They also failed to identify boundaries of their land and also call material witnesses.”
All reliefs sought by the defendant, including an amount of GHC50,000.00 as damages, were granted by the court.
The Judge also ordered the lands commission to bring the judgement of the court to the notice of the affected persons for them to regularise their stay on the land with the defendants.
“Should the affected persons fail to atone tenancy, the defendants are at liberty to recover the said land,” Justice Amo Yartey added.
By Alfred Nii Arday Ankrah