Victory Bible Church Int’l Clears Air Over Baah Yard Land
Victory Bible Church International, a charismatic Pentecostal Church, has stressed it legally acquired the land hosting its international headquarters located at Awoshie, Victory Junction, a suburb of Accra.
The Church since 1989 has had a protracted land acquisition challenge with the Baah Family over two portions of the land (Plot Number 124 and 126) on which its current headquarters is located. Around that year, the Baah Yard land was granted to the Church by the late Cecilia Morkor Baah and Charles Cantamanto Baah (Jr). Subsequently, the Church registered its interest in the land at the Land Title Registry and was issued with two certificates covering plots 126 and 124 Baah Yard, Accra. Plots 126 is the land on which the Church building is constructed whilst plot 124 is the frontage of the Church, according to records.
The Agreement Reached
On the 11th of October 2017, legal representatives of the Church and the Baah Family reached a conclusive agreement which resulted in an entry of consent judgement in SUIT NO IRL/337/09 and titled, Harriet Morrison Baah and 5 others v. Victory Bible Church & Another). The parties after being in court for over eight years agreed to the settlement of the case amicably. Following extensive negotiations, terms for the settlement of the dispute were executed between all the surviving children of the estate of CCK Baah and/or their Administrators on one side and the Church on the other side.
Terms of the Agreement
This agreement and subsequent consent judgement paved way for all interests in the disputed land to transfer to the Church. It was agreed that the Church should pay an agreed sum to the estate of CCK Baah in full and final settlement of all interest that the beneficiaries and/or the children may have in plots 126 and 124 at Baah Yard. The agreed sum was to be paid in four installments by the Church. The Baah Family on their part, were to deliver vacant possession of the occupied portion of plots 124 to the Church within three months after the first installment payment is made. The first instalment of the agreed sum was to enable the Baah family resolve all issues if any with the occupants and deliver vacant possession to the Church by the agreed period. VBCI subsequently paid the first instalment to the Baah family.
Timeline for Vacant Possession
Although the Baah family were by the agreement required to deliver vacant possession within three months upon receipt of the initial installment ending 11th November 2017, the family wrote to the occupants and gave them up to 30th November to vacate the land. Additionally, the family in their letter informed the occupants that they have sold their interest in plots 124 and 126 to the Church and by mutual agreement, they were under obligation to deliver vacant possession to the Church. The Plaintiffs (Baah family) unequivocally informed the occupants that if they failed to vacate the land by the set date, steps shall be taken among others to demolish the structures and deliver vacant possession to the Church.
Voluntary Extension of Possession Timeline
Although the Church’s right to possession accrued on 11th November 2017, it advisedly waited, hoping that by 30th November 2017 the occupants who have been fully compensated will vacate the land on their own volition to enable the Church possess the land. On the 20th of December 2017, the Church took full possession of the land and started work to secure the borders of the land legally acquired.
Action By Lease Interest Holder of Portions of Plot 124
In the course of the final negotiations with the estate of the late Cecilia Baah, it emerged that one of the six surviving children had leased a portion of plot 124 to one Wiafe (Adomthar). The church decided not to pursue any more litigation over the land.
To that end, the church decided to offer a portion of the land (100X70) to the family and by extension to Wiafe (Adomthar) for an amicable settlement. With this agreement reached, the church demarcated the giveaway land and began to build its wall over the portion belonging to the church.
However, on several occasions between the 20th of December 2017 till date, the church has raised concerns over persons including Wiafe coming over to the premises claiming that their land has illegally been taken over by the Church.
The church has since made available documents in support of its case;
1. Two land title certificates numbered GA 11686 and 15385
2. The entry of judgment dated 11th October 2017
3. Letters from plaintiffs’ solicitors to all of occupants of plots 124.
4. Writ of possession Letter from the Court to the Ghana Police Service for assistance to recover possession.