The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has dragged the government to the Human Rights Division of the High Court to order the latter to return assets of the party which were confiscated following the overthrow of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in 1966.
A writ of summons filed on behalf of the party by its lawyer, Mr Bright Akwetey, is asking the court to order the government to return its confiscated assets which have for the past 49 years been occupied by state agencies without the payment of rent.
It is also praying for an order for the payment of a lump compensation to the party.
The government was sued through the Attorney-General.
The applicant is praying the court to declare the confiscation of the listed properties as unlawful and contrary to the rules of natural justice.
It is also seeking an order stating that the continued confiscation of the listed properties is discriminatory.
An order declaring the occupation of the assets by listed state bodies, institutions for the past 49 years as unlawful and contrary to democratic principles and the rule of law is also being sought.
The applicant is urging the court to direct the government to release all the nine properties listed in the schedule.
It is further praying the court to order the government to remove from each property without delay each and every occupant of any and all such properties not later than December 31, 2015.
The properties being sought after by the applicant include a three-storey building housing the Ministry of Information and the Information Services Department (ISD) in Accra; a three-storey building in Sunyani which houses the Brong Ahafo Regional Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service; three separate storey buildings in Takoradi; a two-storey building in Koforidua housing the New Juaben Municipal Assembly office.
Another is a storey building in Tarkwa holding state agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the Town and Country Planning Department, the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly and others.
The CPP is requesting the court to order the return of its four-storey building in Kumasi which is currently housing the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the ISD and a separate three-storey building in Cape Coast holding the Cape Coast Metropolitan Education Office, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission, the Births and Deaths Registry, the Rent Control Unit and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
A one-storey building in Tamale holding the ISD will also be affected should the court decide to order its return to the CPP.
Statement of Claim
A statement accompanying the writ of summons states that the listed property were put up with contributions by members of the CPP.
“Plaintiff asserts that some of the internally generated funds were deducted at source from remunerations paid to workers who were members of the party.
“The state has over the past 49 years occupied the confiscated properties without paying any rent to the party, thereby denying the CPP the expected income,” the statement of claim asserted.
It went on to state that “instead of building offices for the various state institutions occupying these properties and making them self-sufficient as regards their accommodation, successive governments have rather depended on the confiscated properties for the accommodation of these institutions and state bodies”.
According to the plaintiff, efforts to claim its confiscated property had been met with “promises and half-hearted measures by successive governments”.
It said the continued unlawful occupation and use of the properties by state institutions and other bodies identified in the schedule were a deliberate act to continue denying the plaintiff its property and legitimate income.
It is, therefore, praying the court to grant its reliefs.
Source: Daily Graphic
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