Aggrieved Property Owners Sue Govt For Non-Payment Of Compensation

Twenty-two property owners along the Agona Junction-Elubo road in the Western Region have sued the government for the non-payment of compensation for their properties, which have been marked for demolition. As a result, work on some portions of the road has come to a standstill following a court injunction . The affected buildings, which are conspicuously dotted along the 110-kilometre stretch, have "Remove" signs from the Ghana Highway Authority clearly marked on them. The move has the potential to further delay World Bank-funded projects which were supposed to have been completed by January 8, 2015. The completion date has now been revised to December 2015. Inspection tour The Project Director of K2 & Associates Inc, the supervising engineering consultants on the project, Mr Felix Kwakwa, announced this at Elubo when the Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, inspected work on the road. The minister, accompanied by heads of departments of the ministry, paid a working visit to the area to ascertain the challenges militating against the completion of the project. Mr Kwakwa said the people who came together to sue the government were all based at Elubo and explained that their complaints were basically that the amount offered was meagre, as payment was done two years after the assessment had been made. He explained that although the payments were made in 2014, the assessment had been done in 2009 and reassessed in 2012. He said so far the government had paid GHc12.5 million to property owners for their properties and crops to be demolished to make way for the construction of the road. Attorney-General to intervene Reacting to the stalemate, Alhaji Fuseini, who said he was not enthused about the status of the court case, instructed the Ghana Highway Authority to contact the Attorney General's Department to go to court to get clearance for those properties to be demolished for work to continue. He said the road was a public interest project and those who sued the government stood to also benefit from the road, stressing that the law did not encourage such actions. Alhaji Fuseini said he was convinced that the structures were put up without permit and said the compensation being paid was for the structures and not the land "because I am convinced that these structures do not have permits. They are sitting on road reservations".