Land litigation involving GAF, private citizen: High Court set for another trial

The Accra High Court is set to conduct another trial on a land litigation involving the Ghana Armed Forc­es (GAF) and a private Ghanaian citizen, Mr Kofi Ammoah Kwafo.

The GAF is claiming ownership of land,which had been adjudicated in favour of Mr Kwafo.

In the first trial, which was presided over by Justice Effia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, now a Court of Appeal judge, the High Court granted all the reliefs being sought by MrKwafo against Dr Mustapha Ahmed, a former Minister of Youth and Sports.

Justice Asare-Botwe granted orders to perpetually restrain Dr Ahmed, assigns, agents and workmen from trespassing on the land.

But, just when Mr Kwafo went to exe­cute the judgment of the court, the GAF claimed ownership of the land.

At proceedings on Wednesday, counsel for Mr Kwafo, who is now the respondent, asked for full trial.

The case was adjourned to November 29.

Mr Kwafo said he would invite witness­es to testify.

On March 6, this year, Dr Ahmed was sentenced to seven days in prison for con­tempt of court.

On June 12, 2019, the court in a judge­ment injuncted the former minister, then the defendant, from trespassing on the land, but he violated the order.

The court also fined him GH¢12,000 or in default serve 30 days in prison.

If paid, the court presided over by Jus­tice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe ordered that GH¢5,000 out of the fine should be paid to Kofi Ammoah Kwafo, who initiated the contempt application against Dr Ahmed, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Direc­tor-General of Logistics of the GAF.

The contempt motion originated from a land litigation case, six years ago, in which Dr Ahmed, a former Member of Parlia­ment for Ayawaso North, sold land to Mr Kwafo in the year 2000, and repossessed it with the excuse of having made a mistake.

In the contempt application, the ap­plicant, Mr Kwafo, attached the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics because personnel of the GAF, occupying a property built on the land in dispute resisted execution of the judgement of the court.

The presiding judge, Justice Asare-Bot­we, noted in her judgement that both Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics were not personally served with copies of the court land litigation judgement of 2019.

In affidavit in support and written address, Mr Kwafo stated that the respon­dents conducted themselves in a manner as to bring the administration of justice into disrepute by defying the authority of the court.

For instance, the applicant argued that the first respondent purportedly disposed of the property to the GAF in 2017, which document was executed in 2018 and the application for registration, there­fore, having been made in 2021 when the judgement of the court was already handed down.

Mr Kwafo said that the officers of the GAF were in contempt of court when they resisted the execution of the judge­ment of the court.

Mr Kwafo was represented by Mr Kwaku Osei Asare as counsel.

Counsel for Dr Ahmed, then Mr Christopher A. Fynn, in his written submission, stated that his client could not be found to be in contempt since no evidence had been canvassed to show that he had fallen in breach of any order, direction or judgement of the court to merit such action.