Two bailiffs from the Lands Division of the High Court in Tema, on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, assisted the Ackwerh family of Hwakpo to possess their lands as ordered by the court.
Mr Sowah and Isaac Lamptey, the bailiffs, and the family members of the Ackwerhs led by their family head, Ernest Samuel Ackwerh, peacefully carried out the court order under the supervision of the Force Police Unit (FPU) Base, Ada.
The FPU-Base team (five personnel including the driver), which moved in a Toyota Hilux with registration number GP 794, was led by Inspector Kamayor from the Ada District Police Command, provided security to the bailiffs and the family members of the Ackwerhs to peacefully carry out the court order.
The family grafittied: ‘Possessed by court order’ on buildings sited on their 891 acres of land.
The affected occupants told the media that they bought the land for their properties from one Akpo Adi Buertey Puplampu.
However, Ernest Samuel Ackwerh told a section of the media that his family is ready to meet all the affected occupants who illegally acquired the land for proper regularisation of their properties.
He said, “We served all the occupants on the land with notices from the court prior to today’s exercise, but they thought we (the Ackwerhs) were bragging. Anyway, our doors are opened to anybody affected by this lawful exercise to meet us for proper documentation.”
The Lands Division of the High Court in Tema granted a Writ of Possession of Hwakpo Lands in the Ada Traditional Area to the Ackwerh Family of Hwakpo.
The Head of the Ackwerh family, in July 2014, filed a suit against the Chief of Adokorpey, Nene Jonathan T. A Addo III, and eleven other natives of Adokorpey for illegally encroaching on lands belonging to the Ackwerh family of Hwakpo.
The Ackwerhs sought the court to declare that all parcels of land situated lying and being at Hwakpo, Ada, in the East Dangme District in the Greater Accra Region and bounded on the North by land measuring a total distance of 6,045.7 feet, on the East by 7,252. 8 feet, South by a total distance of 8,164.1 and on the West by a total distance of 2,895.2 feet more or less, and containing an approximate area of 891.446 acres of land is the property of the Ackwerh family.
The plaintiff also sought a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and any other persons from entering or interfering with the said property, including an order ejecting the defendants from the property immediately.
In his statement of claim, the head of the Ackwerh family, Ernest Samuel Ackwerh, informed the court that their late grandmother, one Adikuor Puplampu, gifted the land in question to her children and husband and has occupied it over the years.
However, the defendants averred that the land belongs to the Adibiawe family and is under the control of one Nene Teye Puplampu for and on behalf of the clan.
They denied that they had encroached on the plaintiff’s land and described the allegations as bogus and fraudulent.
However, after cross-examinations and both sides turning in evidence, the presiding judge, Her Ladyship Mrs Elizabeth Ankumah, on the 28th May 2021, entered a final judgement by granting the plaintiff, who is the head of the Ackwerh family, all the requests and charged the defendant twenty-five thousand cedis (GH¢25,000) to pay to the plaintiff.
Soon after the judgment, the defendants, Nene Jonathan Tetteh Addo and the eleven others, on the 16th of July 2023 served a notice of appeal but have since failed to pursue the intended appeal.
On the 1st of May 2023, the plaintiff filed to be given a Writ of Possession by the Tema High Court and was granted by His Lordship Justice Kwasi Boakye.
The court did not accept an earlier motion for a stay of execution moved by the defendants with a seventeen-paragraph affidavit in support.
It was the argument of the council of the plaintiff amongst others in an eleven-paragraph affidavit in opposition to the defendant that the applicant was ploying to buy time.
The council argued that the applicant continued to sell the plaintiff’s lands at Hwakpo, ownership of which has been affirmed by the court, hence, the need to throw them out of the land before they caused havoc to unsuspecting prospective purchasers of land for residential purposes.
The court, upon hearing the arguments against the stay of execution, granted the Ackwerh family the Writ of Possession.
The head of the Ackwerh family, after getting the Writ of Possession, noted they would trigger all other necessary legal regimes to undertake the demolition of illegal structures on the land.