The Ghana Trade Fair Company (GTFCL) has defended a demolition exercise that took place at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra which led to the pulling down of factories owned by a former journalist and other tenants.
Properties belonging to Universal Labels & Packaging Co. Ltd and Colour Planet, owned by Raymond Archer, Editor and Publisher of the now defunct Enquirer Newspaper and other buildings at the Trade Fair Centre were destroyed in the exercise reportedly led by operatives from National Security on Sunday.
The lifting of a court injunction, which many tenants claimed not to be aware of, paved the way for the exercise.
The affected tenants had earlier secured a court order to prevent the Trade Fair Company from continuing with the exercise which started in May last year.
Contrary to the tenants’ claims that they had not been given an eviction notice, the GTFCL said it had informed all of them about an upcoming redevelopment project and gave them a mandatory six-month notice on July 10, 2018, for them to vacate the site.
“Prior to this, on September 24, 2017, the Company sent notices to all tenants to renew their tenancy agreements for another year. Reminders followed on November 1st 2017 to renew by November 10, 2017, for the last time before the redevelopment was to start in 2019.
“Since 31st December 2018, therefore, none of the businesses on-site had any valid tenancy agreement with the GTFCL,” a statement from the GTFCL said.
Despite the expiration of the tenancy agreements, GTFCL said it has been cooperating with the businesses with the view of finding the least disruptive means to achieving the goal of redevelopment.
“In our view, the Company took all necessary steps to inform the businesses about the redevelopment Project and tried to protect them and their investments.”