Police Counter Terrorism squad seizes private property for the Ofori-Attahs

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The Ghana Police Service has admitted deploying personnel of the Police Counter Terrorism Unit to supervise the eviction of a woman caretaker on a private property, on the orders of some relatives of President Akufo-Addo.

Subsequently, a four-bedroom house on the property owned by a 56-year-old woman was demolished by thugs guarded by heavily armed police personnel.

The house which sits on an approximately 0.12-acre land at Cantonments in the national capital is owned by Madam Aba Dede Welbeck: a property she inherited from her deceased mother, Esi Manan.

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Available records at the State Housing Corporation (formerly Ghana Housing Corporation), including the Indenture, show that the land was sold to Esi Manan by the Corporation in February 1967 for a period of 60 years. This suggests that Madam Welbeck and her family have six more years to live on the said property near Akai Clinic as at the time they were forced out in August 2021.

But Kelvin Ofori-Attah, who is a cousin of Ghana’s President, and Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Attah, together with his wife Awura Adjoa Ofori-Attah has “unlawfully taken over the said property”.

Backed by state power fronted by the police, without any court order, the two have succeeded in forcing out the occupants of the land.

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“After the filing of our writ of summons and statement of claim and the application for interlocutory injunction both dated 12th day of August, 2021, [Kelvin Ofori-Attah and Awura Adjoa Ofori-Attah], in connivance with [IGP George Akuffo-Dampare, Accra Regional Commander of Police, Afful Boakye Yiadom, and Detective Chief Insp. Solomon Manlokiya] on Sunday the 22nd of August, 2021 at about 3:300 a.m, invaded the property in a Rambo style with fully armed policemen, hoodlums, thugs by blocking all the access roads to the property.

“That these fully armed policemen, hoodlums and thugs who were wielding offensive weapons such as guns, cutlasses, rifles, and bulldozers, drove away my caretakers and collapsed the entire building.” This is how Madam Welbeck captured how her inheritance was razed down in her supplementary affidavit in support of an application for interlocutory injunction at the High Court.

Interestingly, a police report dated August 23, 2021, rather accusing Madam Welbeck also known as Auntie Dede of trespassing on the disputed land, with Kelvin and Awura Adjoa Ofori-Attah as the complainants, said a first raid on the said property by the police Counter Terrorism squad in May this year was authorized.

“On 15/05/2021, the complainants’ representative, one Justice Hammond accompanied by the Police Team from the Counter Terrorism Unit went to the said property [and arrested the caretaker there],” the report signed by Chief Superintend Joseph Oppong, Accra Regional Crime Officer said in part.

Meanwhile, the IGP, George Akuffo-Dampare, as well as the Greater Accra Regional Commander of Police, DCOP Afful Boakye Yiadom; police investigator at the regional command, Chief Inspector Solomon Manlokiya; and the Lands Commission have been joined in the suit against Kelvin Ofori-Attah and Awura Adjoa Ofori-Attah.

The plaintiff is praying the court for a “declaration that the Estate of Esi Manan is the owner of all that piece and parcel of land with building thereon, situate, lying and being at North Labone, Housing Estate-Accra, and containing an approximate Area of 0.29 acre more or less and known as Plot number 58A, North Labone Housing Estate-Accra”.

An order directing the Lands Commission “to expunge the plotting and registering of the all that piece and parcel of land with building thereon, situate, lying and being at North Labone, Housing Estate-Accra, and containing an approximate Area of 0.29 acre more or less and known as Plot number 58A, North Labone Housing Estate-Accra in the name of [Kelvin and his wife].”

She is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction, restraining them, their assigns, agents and privies from interfering with the property and the beneficiaries of the estate of the deceased ownership, occupation and possession of the property.

The suit is expected to be amended to capture other “unlawful” incidents which occurred after the filing of the writ.

Meanwhile, official document from the Lands Commission signed by Emmanuel Bentil for the Regional Lands Officer indicated that government leased the land to Kelvin Ofori-Attah and Awura Adjoa Ofori-Attah on March 29, 2021.

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