Crime News

Land Guards Terrorize Awutu Papaase Residents

Some residents of Awutu Papase in the Central Region have accused officials of the Central Regional Lands Commission for conniving with some individuals to sell their lands.

According to residents, the suspected land thieves have also employed some land guards to terrorize them for living on their own property.

They alleged that, two of the suspected land guards identified only as Kodjo and Rasta, using a motorbike, often storm the area to attack them with guns and machetes on the orders of one Numo Kankam and Festus Nii Djator Botchway, the supposed land owners.

One of the victims who gave his name as Issaka Mohammed said he bought 36.88 acres of land from one Citizen A. Puplampu in the year 2000.

He conducted a search at the Central Regional Lands Commission same year and it  indicated that the land was in the name of Citizen Puplampu and that he also acquired it from Nai Odupong Awushie Tetteh II.

“When the land guards started harassing me and I heard people telling their stories, I conducted another search on the land in 2013, and realized that part of the land had been registered in the name of Numo Kankam and others and Veronica Hammond.”

Issaka Mohammed continued that “I questioned officials of the land commission about this issue but I did not get any response so I decided to take a legal action.”

He noted that while preparing to go to court, his counsel told him to conduct another search at the same lands commission and this time to his dismay, all the lands he acquired from Citizen Puplampu were registered in the name of Numo Kankam and Festus Nii Djator Botchway.

“They have now registered the whole of my land in the name of Numo Kankam and one Nii Okaija Armah in 2016 and not citizen Puplampu,” adding that records of Citizen Puplampu could not even be traced at the Lands Commission.”

To buttress his claims, Mohammed brought out his land certificate which was registered in 1981in the name of Citizen Puplampu and all the three searches he conducted on the land at the lands commission.

Another victim, Mrs Felicia Akani, a widow, told the paper that her husband, the late Baba Akani bought 40 acres of land in the area and registered it in 2004.

She said her late husband handed over the land title certificate to her before passing away.

“Recently when the land guards started to torment us and I also went to the central regional Lands Commission to cross check my status, I realized that the land had been registered in the name of Numo Kankam and one Nii Okaija Armah but my records could not be traced at the Lands Commission.”

The residents have therefore called on the government and the regional minister to as a matter of urgency, set a committee to investigate the activities of the Central Regional Lands Commission.

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By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey