The Zongo Chief of Sowutuom, Sariki Awala, has disputed claims by residents of Ajiriganor that he led a group of land guards to forcibly eject them from their properties.
According to him the claims by the residents are false and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.
Some residents have expressed fear and accused Sarika Awala of terrorizing them with land guards.
They described him as a self-styled estate developer and according to them, he [Awala] has no regard for land owners as he allegedly terrorizes them and when they (owners) confront him, he goes wild.
The residents have since petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante- Appeatu and the National Security to stop him.
Granting an interview with Daily Guide, some of the residents said, they want the police to deal with the land guards led by Sariki Awala because he was seizing lands from rightful owners.
An alleged victim who spoke to Daily Guide, one Martin K. Tuwm, said he’s being forcibly ejected from his land at Adjiriganor – land he said he bought since 1997 with documents covering it.
Mr Twum said he had taken possession of the land and had been paying ground rent to the Land Commission annually, constructed a fence wall around it and built a wooden structure on it for a caretaker to live in.
But responding to the publication, Sarika Awala disputed the claims stressing that, he is not a land guard nor does he employ land guards to terrorize residents in the said areas.
He explained that he purchased the land from the chief in the area and paid an amount of $20,000 but the chief promised to hand him the documents in due course but later the man claimed ownership of the land.
The case was later reported to the police and the one who sold the land to me asked for the matter to be settled at home. However, nothing has been done so far and so we are back at the police headquarters to find a solution.
According to him, he is an estate developer who has registered his business under the name, Awala Company Limited.
Mr. Sariki said he own lands in strategic locations including Dodowa, Obom, Amasaman, Spintex with landed properties including estates.
‘’I am not a land guard. I am an estate developer and so when I identify a land I’m interested in, I search for the owner of the land, purchase it and develop it. So I don’t just get up and seize land from people as speculated. I have not seized anybody’s land and I don’t also employ land guards. Anyone you see around me, are my employees. I have employed more than 230 workers under my Awala Company Limited and so I cannot be a land guard,’’ he said.
Sariki Awala said he has informed his lawyer about the matter and will follow through to its logical conclusion.
”I am not an ordinary person. I am a Zongo chief and I have done a lot for people so why should I terrorize the same people I care about,” he quizzed.