Mr Justice Yaw Apau
Mr Justice Yaw Apau

Mr Justice Yaw Apau, Sole Commissioner of the Judgement Debt Commission on Monday urged government to revoke Executive Instrument (EI) on the Kwabenya Landfill site.

Mr Justice Yaw Apau
Mr Justice Yaw Apau

He explained that following government?s decision to shut down the project in 2012, it would be in the national interest that the EI is revoked to ensure that landlords do not take government to court for compensations promised them.

?What purpose will the EI serve when government has abandoned the project,? Mr Justice Apau stated at the Commission?s sitting in Accra.

This was, when the Mr Fred Dankwa, Project Consultant of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development appeared before the Commission to testify in the matter of the State?s acquisition of the Kwabenya Landfill site.

Mr Apau noted that some landlords from the Kwabenya Landfill had petitioned the Commission over compensation claims from the state.

He said if government does not take steps to revoke the EI, the landlords are likely to sell the lands and sue government to claim compensations.

Mr Dankwa recounted that in 1995 government saw the need to create a sanitary landfill at Kwabenya to serve Accra.

He said the project was then supported by the Department of Foreign and International Development of the United Kingdom.

He said around 2003/2004, the World Bank came in to support government?s efforts in executing the project, however, people living around the area especially the Agyemankata Community agitated against the siting of the project.

He said in 2003 the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) paid GH? 250 million to the chiefs for drinks towards the facilitation of the landfill.

Mr Dankwa said following series of agitations by Agyemankata residents over the landfill, the government set up a Technical Advisory Committee to investigate the matter.

He said the Committee recommended to government among other things to go ahead with the project, which led to the passage of the EI on the Kwabenya Landfill in 2007.

He said the World Bank Team of Inspection Panel came down from Washington to survey the place and also recommend that the project was a viable one, but urged government to pay compensations to the settlers on the land.

Mr Dankwa said due to the delay in executing the project, encroachers? numbering about 76 had settled on the buffer zone, explaining that government issued a directive for them to come forward with documentations of the properties, but only 28 of them came forward.

He said in line with the Bank?s directive, the government decided to pay the 28 people, but the community rejected it.

He said the issue to a hostile turn, to the extent that officials from the Ministry and AMA had to go there, under heavy security protection.

He said due to the agitations over the project, the AMA pulled out, while the World Bank withdrew its funding in 2013.

Also at the Commission was Mrs Christina Esi Bobobee, Administrator of Stools Land to presented the list of stools lands in the country.

She said the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands had no office in the Upper East Region due to the absence of stool lands, but added that it had partial offices in the Upper West and Volta Regions, and full offices in the rest of the regions.

She expressed dissatisfaction about stool lands being converted into family lands in the Western and Greater Accra Regions, whereas the stool elders and occupants looked unconcerned.

In response to a question from Mr Kofi Dometi Sokpor, Lead Counsel of the Commission as to whether the list she tended in contained the list of all stool lands in the country; Mrs Bobobee said there are other stool lands which were not captured in the list, however, it is an ongoing process.

Mr Annoh Kissi, Head of the Internal Audit Unit of the Ministry of Finance was also at the Commission to testify on payment of compensations for the Volta Basin Flooded Areas following the construction of the Akosombo Dam.

He told the Commission that the Unit only deals with figures approved by government, to ensure that it tallies with the written cheques, stating that the officials were not privy to the list of beneficiaries.

Sitting has been adjourned to Tuesday, Oct 28..

GNA

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