A Ghanaian based in Holland has hauled Joseph Siaw Agyapong, Chief Executive of JOSPONG Group of Companies before an Accra High Court for trespassing.
Mina Maraba is suing the businessman for forcibly taking her land located at East Legon, a suburb of Accra after several botched attempts to persuade her to sell the land to him.
Joseph has been sued alongside one Issaka Maraba, a younger brother of Mina suspected to have aided the businessman to take over the land.
The Zoomlion CEO is quoted as having vowed to use his connections with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to completely snatch the land from the Plaintiff.
Suing on behalf of her teenage children- Farihan, Zubaida, Nasihr and Jamil Shadou Toure, Mina is requesting the Land’s Court to make a declaration of title to the piece of land at East Legon.
Lawyers of the plaintiff want the court to declare against the defendants recovery of possession of the land, damages for trespass; an order against the defendants to demolish the unauthorized structures built on the land
Mina’s lawyers also want an order directed at the defendants to rebuild the two-bed room house on the land and to bring the land to its previous state before the demolition.
Aside cost for legal fees, the plaintiff is seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their Land Guards, assigns, agents, workmen or any other person claiming title through them from having anything to do with the land.
Statement of claim
The Plaintiff said that around March, 2005, she purchased the parcel of land in the name of her four children.
By a lease executed on the 11th day of April, 2005 in favour of her said children by Dr. T. A. Osae and Mr. E. A. Afutu, joint Heads and Lawful representatives of Osae Family Of Otinshie/Bendzi Family Union, Teshie, and stamped as number LVD GAST 160482017 at the Lands Commission on the 13th day of June, 2017 the said children of hers became joint owners of the land.
Mina’s lawyers argued that after the said grant, she secured complete possession of the disputed land and built a two-bedroom house on the land and placed Issaka in the said building.
The Plaintiff noted that the 2nd Defendant rented out portions of the land behind the immediate walls of the land to persons who placed containers on the land.
According to Mina the land is adjacent to Hotel adding that on several occasions spanning a period of about five years, the then owner of the said hotel had approached her demanding to purchase the land for the construction of a conference centre and a car park to form part of the hotel since the hotel lacked the said facilities.
The suit stated that in all those occasions, Mina turned down such demands stressing that Joseph is now the owner of the said hotel after purchasing same from the previous owner.
The lawyers claimed that at a point in time Mina engaged one Ali Jebrillah to renovate the two-bedroom house on the land.
“The Plaintiff avers that around the last quarter of 2016, Ali placed a call to her and said that one Max called him and intimated that he was a Solicitor and had the instructions of the 1st Defendant (Joseph) to negotiate for the sale of the land. Here, Ali told Max that he did not have the capacity to negotiate for the sale of the land, nonetheless Ali promised Max that the demand of Max and the 1st Defendant would be relayed to the Plaintiff”.
It added “the intention of Max was subsequently brought to the attention of the Plaintiff by Ali, thereupon the Plaintiff refused to accede to the request of Max and the 1st Defendant.”
The Plaintiff contended that later Joseph invited Ali to his office insisting that he (Ali) should convince Mina to sell the land to him.
Mina further stated that Joseph called her on many occasions on phone with the same demand and in all those periods refused the sale and purchase of the land.
Probably incensed by the intransigence of Mina the lawyers, said “on one occasion the 1st Defendant jokingly told her on phone that he would one day take possession of the land with or without her consent and pay any compensation so demanded by the Plaintiff.”
“The Plaintiff avers that around June, 2017 she had a call from a neighbour on an adjoining land, that the two-bedroom house on the land had been demolished under the instructions of the 1st Defendant and with the tacit connivance and blessing of the 2nd Defendant” the writ stated.
Mina contacted Ali who confirmed that the said house had been demolished under the instructions of Joseph stressing that the 1st Defendant has now taken possession of the land and working on the land with assistance of land guards.
The Plaintiff posited that she also placed a call to the 2nd Defendant who also confirmed the incident saying that he had purportedly sold the land to the 1st Defendant and taken his share of the purported proceeds and so the Plaintiff should contact the 1st Defendant for the purported balance.
Mina placed a call to Joseph who initially refused to pick her call until she called him with a different phone number.
On receiving the call and realizing that it was the Plaintiff, Joseph flared up and said that, indeed he had pulled down the building on the land and taken possession of same.
He further disclosed that his government is in power now so he will ensure that he explores his association with the NPP government to completely deny the Plaintiff from the benefit of her land.
Source: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson/ thePublisher