Information available to Today indicates that the youth of Adausina and Hweakwae, farming communities in the New Abirem constituency of the Eastern region, are fuming with anger over payment of money (referred to as “Allodial title”) to their chiefs.
embattled chiefs, Today learnt, are Boni Abankro V and Nana Osei Kwabena Agyeman Prempeh Dwamena II of Adausina and Hweakwae respectively.
The anger of the youth in these two communities, according to sources, the paper learnt was as a result of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) decision to pay the Allodial title money into the personal bank accounts of the chiefs instead of the account numbers of the Traditional Councils of these communities.
The “Allodial title” money, the youth explained, is a form of compensation which is paid to the rightful owners of stool lands which are leased out.
And in this sense they explained further that the lands which were leased out to Newmont in Akyem in the Eastern region belonged to the two traditional Councils-Adausina and Hweakwae.
Therefore, according to the youth, Newmont should not have committed such blunder by giving the said money to the chiefs.
Though they admitted the chiefs were custodians of all the stool lands, they contended that the Allodial title money was meant for community development and not for personal use.
Today also uncovered that the money was paid to the chiefs in their private capacities through cheques on December 24, 2014
While Nana Osei Kwabena Agyeman Prempeh Dwanena II received GHC98, 899.63, Boni Abankro had GHC672, 401.50 Today further uncovered.
In an interview with Today, the leader of the Adausina and Hwaekwae youth, Kwabena Frimpong, stressed that the youth were angry because of the conduct of the two chiefs, saying “they [the two chiefs] are not “entitled” to the payment of Allodial titles.”
He disclosed that the Chief of Adausina, Boni Abankro II, has been slammed with a court injunction, restraining him from receiving any payment on behalf of Adausina Stool.
He added that a similar injunction has also been put on Hweakwae Chief, Nana Osei Kwabena Agyeman Prempeh Dwamena II.
The payment, Mr. Frimpong said, was made without the express consent of the community members of Yaw-Teno, Kelenkeren, Kwesi-Kporvor, EK Marfo, Ayesu Zigah and Dogbo, all farming communities, within the catchment areas of Akyem Mine project at the Yayaso.
He could therefore not understand why the mining company would pay the Allodial money to the two chiefs when an injunction had been slammed on them.
That worrying situation, according to the spokesperson of the youth, has generated tension in the two communities.
“The violation of community rights by NGCL with supreme support of some chiefs is something worrying in the Birim North District but the stakeholders and Ministers of Lands and Natural Resources, Science, Environment and Technology, Justice and Attorney-General together with officials of Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA,) Water Resource Commission and Commission for Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ) have all kept quiet over this issue.
“…the only thing the mining regulatory institutions and stakeholders are doing is to hold meetings to find fault with residents in these communities,” Mr. Frimpong hinted.
Earlier, when Today spoke to the Director in-charge of Internal Affairs of NGGL Akyem Mines Project, who gave his name as Mr. Oduro, he denied all the allegations regarding the payment of Allodial title money to the chiefs.
“It is also not true that the company [Newmont] is planning to mine in Ajenua Bepo Forest Reserve, and added that the company cannot do anything without following due process of the laws governing the mining industry in the country.
He, therefore, appealed to all groups and individuals within the catchment areas to channel their grievances through the Birim North Stakeholders Committee on mining activities.
Meanwhile, the embattled chiefs have also refuted all the allegations and had called on the youth to remain calm.
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