An Accra High Court has fined the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Anas Aremeyaw Anas Gh¢100,000 for unlawful trespassing and use of police and land guards to intimidate a legitimate land owner, one Adolf Tetteh Adjei from his own land.
The court found Mr. Aremeyaw liable for trespassing and illegally building on someone’s land “using police and land guards day and night to brazenly deny Plaintiff from use of his land” in the Aldolf Tetteh Adjei case presided over by Justice Kwame Gyamfi Osei.
The plaintiff, Mr. Tetteh Adjei says his 2 acre land at Tse-Ado has been taken over by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
For his defence, Anas Aremeyaw said Adolf Tetteh’s claim of ownership of the land “was tainted by fraud” as captured in the judgement.
However, the court concluded that “the law would not permit anyone to allege fraud without proving same beyond reasonable doubt. One would also not be permitted to win the sympathy of the court by alleging fraud against his adversary without proving same beyond reasonable doubt” adding that Mr. Aremeyaw Anas’ claim of fraud has no basis.
Mr Adolf Tetteh provided GA. 464555 as Land Title Certificate Number dated February 26, 2015 and added a copy of the Title Certificate and the indenture covering the land to the court.
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He further informed the court his Sub-lessor has also always been in effective possession of the land and had registered it in 2007 under Land Title Certificate No. GA26393. The Sub-lessor also acquired the land with Title Certificate No. GA 19310 with photocopies of the said Land Title Certificate No. GA 19310 and Land Title Certificate No. GA 25462 all presented in court to support Adolf Tetteh’s ownership.
Adolf Tetteh said Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ claim of customary grant of the land to him by a certain Ga family was “merely a ploy to deceive the court”.
The Plaintiff told the court that Anas only showed up one day and “caused a signpost to be erected on the land with the inscription “Tiger Eye Property. Keep off” and also employed the services of land guards to purportedly provide security for his unlawful construction works.”
The court ordered Anas Aremeyaw Anas to vacate the disputed land and to pay Ghs60,000 in general damages and Ghs40,000 in legal cost to Adolf Tetteh who adduced evidence to prove he acquired the land legally and was about to build when Anas Aremeyaw Anas showed up.
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The court said it was perpetually restraining Anas Aremeyaw Anas, “his servants, agents, assigns, workmen and all those claiming through him from entering, carrying out any construction works or interfering with all that piece or parcel of land in any manner whatsoever or disturbing the Plaintiff’s peaceful occupation and possession of same”
Tiger Eye P.I property controversy in court
Anas Aremeyaw Anas filed a motion to oppose the inclusion of Tiger Eye P.I in the suit as it was not an owner of the property but the plaintiff resisted and said Tiger Eye P.I should be in the suit.
Adolf Tetteh told the court when Anas seized the land in dispute, Anas caused to be erected a signpost on the land saying “Property of Tiger Eye P.I Keep Off”. According to Adolf Tetteh that is why he added the company to the court case because the signpost said his land was being claimed by Tiger Eye.
The court later agreed to remove Tiger Eye from the suit while a second defendant sued with Anas failed to enter appearance or show up. The second defendant, one Holy Quaye, is the person Anas claimed to have bought the land from.
“From the evidence the Plaintiff (Adolf Tetteh) was in possession of the land until the 1st Defendant (Anas Aremeyaw Anas) blazingly entered same and started construction day and night with the help of the Police and land guards. The structures he erected on the land is clearly unauthorized. Any prudent purchaser is required to do due diligence before acquisition but in this case the 1st Defendant from the evidence did none. He entered the land and erected a sign post on the land with the inscription “PROPERTY OF TIGER EYE. KEEP OFF. When an application was brought to join “TIGER EYE PI” to this suit, he resisted claiming the said entity has no interest in the land. His claim to the disputed land has no basis in law and in fact. Trespass is an injury against possession, hence the 1st Defendant is liable. In trespass damages are at large andthere would be the need to award damages to commensurate with the circumstances of this case.” The judge said.
This is the second time in a matter of weeks in which the court has found the investigative journalist liable for one wrong or the other after another court ruled in favour of Kennedy Agyapong against the him.
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