SOME senior police officers at Kasoa Millennium City District Police Command and Division in the Central Region, and a National Security operative, Mr Ben Lord, together with scores of land-guards and one Kwesi Alhaji, have been cited in an official complaint lodged at the Property Fraud Unity of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters of the Ghana Police Service.
They have been accused of meddling in double-sale of already sold and registered lands to some unsuspecting Ghanaians and organisations at the detriment of the owners and developers.
According to information available to Today, the alleged criminality of these personalities were reported to the Ghana Police Service, following which they were hauled before the Agona Swedru High Court by the rightful land owners.
This action, Today discovered, was taken by the land owners and developers against Kwesi Alhaji and his followers because they [the land owners] legally bought the lands from the Chief of Gomoa Fetteh Divisional Stool, Nana Abor Ewusie XIX, and the principal elders of Gomoa Fetteh Stool, who are the allodia title owners of the lands at the Kasoa Millennium City.
But Today understands that in the wake of this move, notorious land-guards, fully armed with AK 47 assault rifles, were always storming the Kasoa Millennium City to attack land owners and sometimes beat up their workers for developing their lands they legally bought from the owners—Gomoa Fetteh Stool.
Interestingly, the paper found out that the police complaint report which was before the court has names of twenty seven (27) persons believed to be land-guards who were aided by some senior officers at the Kasoa Millennium City District Police Command and Division to allegedly steal and resell lands belonging to rightful land developers in the area.
And these are Ben Lord, Kwesi Otto, Obaata, Takyi, Bowobra, Kwadjo Adams, Sammy Safari, Kwame Asamoah at Abossey Okai, Bouzin, Salisu with UN Land-Guards Association, Suraj Teye Amanor, Sule at Soldier, Ibrahim Amanor, Joe Blue and Halidu.
The rest are Akobam, Gazali, Abdull Karim, Kukutei, Wormenor Moro, Hamidu Hassan, Fiifi Asafoetida, Charwotey, Kweku Seidu, Bright Azu, Abdul Rahman and Mustapha Ocansey.
It also emerged that these individuals with the aid of the police officers usually collect an amount of GH¢ 500 as ‘Digging Fee’ from each land developer before they allow land owners to develop their lands.
Digging further, Today learnt that these land-guards also as usual collect between GH¢ 7,000 and GH¢ 9,000 as land compensation fee from each land developer, and failure on the part of a developer to pay such a charge would make them [the land-guards] take his/her land and resell to other prospective buyers.
Our investigations further revealed that after succeeding in extorting monies from land owners, these notorious land-guards allegedly share the monies with some senior officers at the Kasoa Millennium City District Police Command.
It was this worrying phenomenon that land owners and developers living in Kasoa Millennium City and its adjoining communities have made a passionate appeal to the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, to urgently reshuffle his personnel in the area for what they have described as criminal misconducts of some of his officers.
According to the worried land developers, their call on the IGP to reshuffle the police officers has become necessary because, according to them, senior police officers of the two police stations were in league with land-guards in the area.
“We are calling on the Acting IGP to crack the whip on personnel at the Kasoa Millennium City because Kwesi Alhaji and Mr Ben Lord are using land-guards and police officers to visit mayhem on those of us who have legally bought lands at the Kasoa-Millennium City and its surrounding communities,” they appealed.
They noted that life was increasingly becoming risky for land developers at Kasoa-Millennium City and its adjoining environs because many of them have become victims of these land-guards.
They also lamented at what they termed as the cover-up-attitude on the part of the police at both the Kasoa Millennium City District Police Command and the Division to fight land-guard activities in the area.
According to them, they were currently living in constant fear, following frequent attacks by heavily armed land-guards who constantly attack and terrorise innocent landowners and developers.
In an interview with Today on Monday, September 23, 2019 during a visit to the area to ascertain the authenticity of the matter, some of the land developers blamed the development on the inaction of the police in the area to arrest and prosecute the culprits.
To this end, they reiterated their appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to impress upon the acting IGP to curb the menace by reshuffling his officers at the two stations.
According to them, the rise in land-guard activities in the said communities was as a result of a call on the Police Administration by President Akufo-Addo to flush out land-guards in the country.
The residents questioned why the Operation Calm Life, an initiative, which targets land-guards, has since ceased its operations, adding that the initiative should be brought back to chase these land-guards away.
They further questioned why Dampareh, the Officer-in-charge of Operation Calm Life, was removed from his post since he was doing a good job by clamping down on the activities of land-guards.
There have been series of land-guard incidents in Kasoa Millennium City and its environs, which have painted a bad picture of the area to the rest of the country.
But in a quick rebuttal in an interview with Today via telephone call, the Kasoa Millennium City District Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Samuel Samani, rubbished the allegation that his officers have been aiding land-guards to attack and take people’s lands and resell to individual land buyers.
The senior police officer also flatly denied the allegation that the land-guards shared monies they collected from some land developers with police officers.
“It is also not true that we the police fail to arrest land-guards whenever they are reported to our stations,’ he stated, and called on Ghanaians to disregard these allegations levelled against the police in the area.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org