GAF demolish structures at Tseado ; To make way for security buffer zone (Front)


There is growing anger among some property owners at Tseado in the La Dadekotopon municipality in the Greater Accra Region over what they describe as attempts by the military to take over their lands in the name of a security buffer zone.

This follows the demolition of a number of fence walls and uncompleted buildings in the area.
The owners alleged that the military had, since February this year, undertaken the demolition of structures in the area in an attempt to cow the property owners into submission.

At least three houses and four fence walls surrounding large tracts of lands have been pulled down by the military men who allegedly carried out the demolition in the early hours of yesterday.

A real estate company, Chain Homes, also had its walls, measuring close to 800 metres, demolished, with a military tower erected just across the walls. 

Across the community, there are pillars indicating some sections of the land that belong to the military, with the bold inscription: “GHANA NAVY LAND. NO TRESPASSING”, on a container. 
The landowners in the newly developing community insisted that they had titles to their land and were not encroachers. 
                                                                                                        

The leader of the landowners, Mr Harrison Terry-Fio, told the Daily Graphic that they had been approached by the military last year to negotiate for land in the area, as development in the area was fast approaching the Burma Camp.


“We told them we were not interested in the proposal and that if it is a national security issue, they should go through the due process by going through the Ministry of Defence, which could then ask the government to go to Parliament for a legislative instrument to be enacted stating that the land was needed because of national security concerns,” he said.

He said not until that was done, the military should stop harassing property owners in the area and allow them to develop their lands.

“They don’t have title to the land. We don’t know the basis for which they demolished our properties,” he said.

Mr Terry-Fio said when the incursions were getting out of hand, the information was passed over to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, who was said to allegedly own a property in the area.

Meetings facilitated by A-G’s Department 

He said to avoid conflict of interest, the A-G passed the issue over to her deputy, Dr Dominic Ayine, who had convened a number of meetings over the issue.

Indeed, the Daily Graphic sighted a copy of the invitation letter to the La Dadekotopon Development Trust, dated July 25, 2014 and inviting the parties to a meeting on “negotiating the creation/acquisition of security and safety buffer zone-military land at East Dadekotopon”.

He said there had been at least three meetings among the landowners, the military, the A-G’s Department and the La Dadekotopon Development Trust over the military issue but no permanent agreement had been reached. 

He said it was at the meeting that the military brought a map indicating that the area in question had been proposed for a security buffer zone.

Mr Terry-Fio said the residents were considering petitioning the government and also taking legal action against the military to restrain it from carrying out further destruction in the area.

“If even they have title to the land, they can’t just demolish properties without a court warrant. What they are doing is illegal and unacceptable,” he said.
Military responds 

However, a statement signed by Lieutenant E. Aggrey-Quarshie, the acting Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), said it undertook the demolition exercise in Burma Camp to ward off developers who, by their actions, were threatening the security and safety of some sensitive military installations.

“The exercise commenced with the demolition of mainly fence walls being extended to these sensitive installations and no main structures or buildings have been targeted.

“The GAF take the opportunity to caution developers and individuals to stay off military lands. They should be mindful of the possible dangers they might face if they continue to ignore all warnings not to live close to military installations,” it said.

There is growing anger among some property owners at Tseado in the La Dadekotopon municipality in the Greater Accra Region over what they describe as attempts by the military to take over their lands in the name of a security buffer zone.
This follows the demolition of a number of fence walls and uncompleted buildings in the area.
The owners alleged that the military had, since February this year, undertaken the demolition of structures in the area in an attempt to cow the property owners into submission.
At least three houses and four fence walls surrounding large tracts of lands have been pulled down by the military men who allegedly carried out the demolition in the early hours of yesterday.
A real estate company, Chain Homes, also had its walls, measuring close to 800 metres, demolished, with a military tower erected just across the walls.
Across the community, there are pillars indicating some sections of the land that belong to the military, with the bold inscription: “GHANA NAVY LAND. NO TRESPASSING”, on a container.
The landowners in the newly developing community insisted that they had titles to their land and were not encroachers.
The leader of the landowners, Mr Harrison Terry-Fio, told the Daily Graphic that they had been approached by the military last year to negotiate for land in the area, as development in the area was fast approaching the Burma Camp.
“We told them we were not interested in the proposal and that if it is a national security issue, they should go through the due process by going through the Ministry of Defence, which could then ask the government to go to Parliament for a legislative instrument to be enacted stating that the land was needed because of national security concerns,” he said.
He said not until that was done, the military should stop harassing property owners in the area and allow them to develop their lands.
“They don’t have title to the land. We don’t know the basis for which they demolished our properties,” he said.
Mr Terry-Fio said when the incursions were getting out of hand, the information was passed over to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, who was said to allegedly own a property in the area.

Meetings facilitated by A-G’s Department 

He said to avoid conflict of interest, the A-G passed the issue over to her deputy, Dr Dominic Ayine, who had convened a number of meetings over the issue.
Indeed, the Daily Graphic sighted a copy of the invitation letter to the La Dadekotopon Development Trust, dated July 25, 2014 and inviting the parties to a meeting on “negotiating the creation/acquisition of security and safety buffer zone-military land at East Dadekotopon”.
He said there had been at least three meetings among the landowners, the military, the A-G’s Department and the La Dadekotopon Development Trust over the military issue but no permanent agreement had been reached.
He said it was at the meeting that the military brought a map indicating that the area in question had been proposed for a security buffer zone.
Mr Terry-Fio said the residents were considering petitioning the government and also taking legal action against the military to restrain it from carrying out further destruction in the area.
“If even they have title to the land, they can’t just demolish properties without a court warrant. What they are doing is illegal and unacceptable,” he said.

Military responds 

However, a statement signed by Lieutenant E. Aggrey-Quarshie, the acting Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), said it undertook the demolition exercise in Burma Camp to ward off developers who, by their actions, were threatening the security and safety of some sensitive military installations.
“The exercise commenced with the demolition of mainly fence walls being extended to these sensitive installations and no main structures or buildings have been targeted.
“The GAF take the opportunity to caution developers and individuals to stay off military lands. They should be mindful of the possible dangers they might face if they continue to ignore all warnings not to live close to military installations,” it said.
- See more at: http://graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/40957-gaf-demolish-structures-at-tseado-to-make-way-for-security-buffer-zone.html#sthash.4xhbpgGh.dpuf

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