Akosombo Land Owners To Justify Compensation

IMG_8295The first batch of people whose lands were flooded during the construction of the Akosombo Dam and were paid various sums of money as compensation, will appear before the Judgement Debts Commission this morning to justify their claims.

Witnesses are required to produce land documents covering site plan, and acreage of flooded land on which the compensation claims were made, and any other documents that they submitted to the Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission or Kwodwo Abban & Co., Chartered Surveyors.

The highest claimant collected GH¢11.2 million while the least claimant also received GH¢5,295.27 as compensation.

Mr. Justice Yaw Apau, Sole Commissioner, deemed it necessary to subpoena the beneficiaries following the revelation by a key witness that some of them (claimants) were not qualified to benefit from the package they received.

Available records at the Commission have it that Cabinet on July 23, 2008, approved a consolidated amount of GH¢138 million as compensation for various Stools and families in the Volta River Basin Flooded Areas, namely, Pai, Apaaso, Makango, Ahamandi and Krachi.

At the Commission’s sitting yesterday, Mr. Justice Apau instructed that a hearing notice with a covering letter be dispatched to the Chief Director at the Ministry of Finance, regarding the laxity the sector has of late displayed, and for failing to give evidence concerning payment of judgement debts and compensations to persons and institutions.

The Judgement Debts Commission wanted either the Chief Director or his accredited representative to explain why 34.7 billion old cedis was paid to Nana Emmanuel Woode, whose two timber firms, Holex Ghana Limited and Priorities Ghana Limited at Akim Oda, in the Eastern Region, were purported to have been confiscated by the State.

But the Chief Investigations Officer in charge of Confiscated Assets at the Office of the President, told the Commission on Tuesday, that there were no records on the confiscation of the companies, and that he did not even know Nana Woode the proprietor.

Mr. Justice Apau, who was troubled at the absence of the ministry to attest to the issue at stake, said that because all payments emanated from the finance ministry, it was incumbent on it  (staff of the ministry) to assist the Commission with facts and figures pertaining to payments made.

“The ministry’s operations are critical to the Commission and the State and failure to assist us with the needed information, makes our work difficult,” he lamented.

By Castro Zangina-Tong

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