April 22, 2024

Court Dismisses Timber Market Dealers’ Case Against Lands Commission In Tamale

Source: Ghana News Agency

The Circuit Court, Tamale, has dismissed a case filed by the Tamale Board Sellers Association, dealers in timber products, against the Lands Commission and two others over a parcel of land.

The disputed parcel of land is at Ward (1) Aboabo Timber Market in Tamale.

Justice Alexander Oworae, the Circuit Court Judge, dismissing the case, awarded a cost of GHS2,000.00 to the Lands Commission.

A copy of the judgment, sighted by the Ghana News Agency, named the plaintiffs as Yahaya Ebo Quaye, Adam Mumuni, Yakubu Amidu, Abdulai Abdul Ganiu, Alhaji Abukari (Timber), Nana Tutubegu (II), and Taheru Mahey.

It said on behalf of themselves and of the Tamale Board Sellers Association, they sued the Lands Commission, Fatuh-Kareban Company Limited, and the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly as first, second and third defendants, respectively, on January 19, 2023.

The reliefs sought by the plaintiffs were “A declaration that the land situate at Ward (1) Aboabo Timber Market is part of the forest reserve land under the control and management of the Forestry Commission, a declaration that the third defendant could not evict the plaintiffs from the land on which they ply their trade as it belonged Forestry Commission.

In response to the plaintiffs’ case, Counsel for the Lands Commission, which is the first defendant, filed an application to the Court to strike out the plaintiffs’ writ of summons and statement of claim, and in the accompanying affidavit, filed on February 17, 2023, the 1st defendant deposed that the plaintiffs’ writ was scandalous, vexatious and disclosed no reasonable cause of action.

Again, the Counsel for the first defendant argued that “from their own pleadings, the plaintiffs have no personal, legal and lawful interest whatsoever in the land against the 1st defendant neither has the 1st defendant infringed on any right or interest of the plaintiffs to necessitate the suit against 1st defendant, and the other defendants”.

The Counsel, therefore, prayed the court to strike out the plaintiffs’ writ of summons and statement of claim.

Justice Oworae, in delivering the judgment, said all fees paid by the plaintiffs to the Forestry Commission were described as squatter fees and the Court would also respect the narration “Squatter fees” as indicated by the Forestry Commission on the receipts filed by the plaintiffs.

“Altogether, I am of the considered opinion that the plaintiffs, by their own showing, have admitted that they are squatters on the disputed land”.

As squatters they had no right or interest to protect in the disputed land and their attempt to initiate the instant action was premature, the Judge said.

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