Sole C’ssioner Launches Investigation Into $2.4 M Compensation For Carmichael Family

WITH the mandate given it to investigate the payment of all judgement debts and compensation by the State from 1992 to date, the Judgement Debts Commission has launched an extensive investigation into the payment of $2.4 million land compensation to the Carmichael Family at the Aveyime Livestock Project site in the Volta Region.

The payment was effected by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) under a certificate of urgency per a letter from the Presidency in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration on January 6, 2009, a day before it handed over power to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in January 7, 2009.

Mr. Kwadwo Awuah Peasah, Director in-charge of External Resource Mobilisation (Bilateral) at MoFEP, confirmed the payment in his evidence to

the commission a month ago, but could not tell what precipitated the land compensation.

The contents of the letter from the Presidency talked about confiscation of the beneficiary’s assets by the State but as to what was actually confiscated, had not been mentioned or stated in it (letter).

This has, therefore, left the Sole Commissioner, Mr. Justice Yaw Apau, with no alternative but to probe the circumstances surrounding the payment of the land compensation to the Carmichael family.

Amazingly, the Chief Valuer at the Land Valuation Division (LVD) of the Lands Commission in-charge of compensation schedule, Mr. Kwesi Bentsi Enchil, also told the commission at its sitting yesterday that, LVD did not know anything about the Carmichael family as well as the land compensation paid to them.

He said that 13 people who are landowners and indigenes of Aveyime were angry upon hearing that

Carmichael, who was a non-Ghanaian (foreigner) and owned no land at Aveyime should be paid land compensation by the State while the real land owners whose property (land) had been acquired for the livestock and other projects in the area were left out.

The Chief Valuer, appealed to the commission to order whoever paid the money to Carmichael family to produce the receipts covering the payment to enable the Lands Commission to update its records since some compensations had been paid without passing them through the Land Valuation Division for scrutiny and advice.

Mr. Bentsi-Enchil said that 24,790 acres of land were acquired by the State under Executive Instrument (EI) 27,1976 at Aveyime for some projects which Carmichael became a beneficiary of the land and established a livestock project.  Sitting resumes on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.     By Castro Zangina-Tong

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