• Damns Onomokordai family

The Nii Odai Ntow family which is believed to be the rightful owners of the disputed parcel of land at Atomic, has broken its silence after waiting on government to finally release the said parcel of land to the family. According to members of the Odai Ntow family, the Onomokordai family has made the wrong move in selling the piece of land; expressing the naivety of the Onomokordai family to the truth as far as the ownership of the land is concerned.

At a charged press conference held by Odai Ntow family members, clouded in red armbands, head scarfs to set the records straight and to disabuse the minds of the people from the lies the Onomokordai family imputed at their recent press conference, the Spokesperson for the Odai Ntow family, Edmund Nii Armah noted that the family decided not to wade into the dispute because the current custodians of the said land, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, is dealing with the issue.

However, Nii Armah indicated that the Odai Ntow family also has evidence to prove the fact that the said land belongs to them and not to the Onomokordai family as claimed by some people.

Tendering some documents to the press in relation to his claims, he noted that Odai Ntow family and Ashongman Mantse have received 141,000.00 Cedis compensation from government in 1975 for 503.60 acres of land when government acquired the land compulsorily for the Atomic project under Extension Instrument (EI) 75/1973. The document also indicated that at the time, government acquired 2002.58 acres of land from the Odai Ntow family of which the 141,000.00 Cedis compensation was paid.

With all the facts and documents available, Nii Armah expressed surprised at the turn of events saying, “If the then government deemed it fit, considering all the documentations presented, and the legal battle that ensued, to pay the compensation to our family as the rightful owners of the land, how then can another family lay claim today for that same parcel of land lying within the atomic concession?”

He also took a swipe at the representative of the Onomokordai family for lying to the media that no compensation has been paid on the acquisition of Atomic Lands. “This clearly shows how naive he is when it comes to the Atomic land issues,” he said.

Another fact presented to prove their point, was a declaration from the office of the Gbese Mantse on Kwabenya lands in 1989.  According to Nii Armah, in 1989, five families including Odai Ntow, Ga, Gbese and Korle, Nii Owoo, Nathaniel Quarcoo and R.A. Quarcoo were contesting the lands, and as part of judgement, the Gbese Mantse cited the first compensation on the Atomic concession to the Odai Ntow family as one of the legal considerations in declaring them as the rightful owners of Kwabenya lands which also include the Atomic concessions.

Edmund Nii Armah also indicated that, the Odai Ntow family has been engaged in series of negotiations with different Ministers of Land and Forestry long before government announced the release of selected compulsory acquired lands in October 2008.

“We have been quiet on the release process because we believe government true to its promise, would finalise the documentation process legally to handover the land to its rightful owners thus the Odai Ntow family, only to realize that the Onomokordai family has rushed to court,” he said.

The Odai Ntow family also took exception to the decision of the court to overturn an EI, saying that “It is also important for us to state that it sound ridiculous that an EI could be revoked by a high court judgement.”

They however named some government officials and the Ga East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. Kwao Sackey for interfering in the land issue and thereby trying to sabotage the Odai Ntow family.

Some placards carried at the press conference read, “If some NDC gurus want Atomic land, if you touch Ga lands 2012 is closed,” “Ga East MCE Hon. Kwao Sackey now give our lands to Gyato.”

“As a father for all, we appeal to the President to intervene in the efforts of the current Minister of Lands to have a lasting peace on the Atomic lands,” Edmund Nii Armah said.

Speaking to the Queen of Kwabenya Manye Naa Korkwei Dugbartey II, she indicated the Odai Ntow family’s preparedness to protect their land from unscrupulous persons such as the Onomokordai family members.

She however appealed to the President to call his officials who are perceived to be behind the attempt to rob the Odai Ntow family off their rightful inheritance.

It could be recalled that recently there has been some battle between a Chinese developer who is putting up an ultra modern business structure on the controversial land, and the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission on one side, and the Odai Ntow family on the other hand. Meanwhile in the heat of the controversies, officials of GAEC has indicated that the locating the structure was too close to its nuclear plant, whilst the Odai Ntow family on the other hand, has proven beyond doubts that said land belongs to them and, as far as they are concerned, they have not released it to any developer.

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