The long unresolved dispute over Tetegu lands has rather delayed development in the Tetegu township. The community, which is so close to the city centre and yet so far away from basic amenities, is located in the Ga South Municipal area of the Greater Accra Region, off the Kasoa road on the left before the Densu bridge. The community lacks basic amenities such as a hospital, school, market, community centre, good roads, police station, among others. Due to the nature of bad roads in the community, there is no regular and reliable transport, thus making it difficult for workers to go to work. A team from Journalists In Development (JID) took a visit to the place and found out that the people have to trek from the Tetegu township in order to catch a bus at the main Tetegu junction, linking the main Kasoa road. Women in labour have to travel through a similar ordeal of waiting for a long time before getting a vehicle to convey them to the hospital. Even the bad nature of the road to the nearest health facility is enough to cause miscarriage to the pregnancy.
School children in the community walk long distances to either Oblogo or Weija to attend school, and by the time they get there, they are already tired and weak for any serious learning.
The nearest market to Tetegu is the Malam Market and women have to travel all the way to sell or buy food stuff for their families.
In an attempt to find out why Tetegu lacks these amenities, our team paid a visit to the Wulormo who also doubles as the acting chief of Aplaku, Nii Tetteh Nartey and he said the Aplaku stool is the overlord of Tetegu and that elders have been concerned about development of the community. According to him, the Aplaku stool has allocated portions of the land of Tetegu to construct the infrastructure for the community. He however regretted that several efforts have been made to bring the government to develop the land but all to no avail. Nii Tetteh Nartey also expressed worry about the suffering of the residents of Tetegu.
But when the Municipal Chief Executive of Ga south Municipal Assembly, Mr. Joseph Nyarni Stephen was contacted, he denied claims by the Aplaku Wulomor that the Aplaku stool has alocated lands to the assembly to provide infrastructure for the community. He noted the assembly is a development partner in the municipality and would therefore not hesitate to provide facilities for the community if the land was made available. When asked whether he is aware of any disputes on the Tetegu lands, and why the assembly is not taking action to settle them to bring development to the community, the MCE disclosed the assembly is not to meddle in chieftaincy affairs and would support and work with any chief that is introduced to it by the kingmakers of the land.
When Journalists In Development (JID) team contacted the Crime Officer of the SCC police division, Mr. Joseph Adjei Afoakwa, he explained that the police does not deal in land cases and that they are there to prevent violence and maintain peace and security on the land. He also advised the kingmakers to install the right persons as chiefs and introduce them to the police so as to engage in a fruitful working relation to avoid confusion in that area. He maintained when there is confusion on the land, it makes it difficult for any meaningful development to thrive. Joseph Adjei Afoakwa therefore urges anyone encountering issues of land disputes to go to court for redress.
He called for unity among residents to bring about development to Tetegu.
JID team again spoke to the Director of Tare Properties, Mr. Koi Larbi who indicated his company acquired some one thousand and twenty acres of land with consideration from the Tetegu chiefs for ninety nine years (99). Unfortunately, fourteen years have been spent for litigation, now remaining eighty five (85) years for the company.
With a memorandum of understanding (MOU), Tare properties were to provide basic amenities to the Tetegu community – police station, electricity, roads, schools markets, hospitals, among others. According to him, not long after acquiring the land from the chiefs, a dispute broke out on the Tetegu land between Nii Danso, the then chief of Dansoman and Nii Ayitah Tsuru, the then head of family to the Aplaku Stool and some two factions both of whom claimed ownership of the land. This compelled court to place injunction on the land. According to him, during that period of injunction, elders of Tetegu illegally resold portions of the land belonging to Tare Properties. Mr. Larbi called for the destoolment of the elders of Tetegu involved in the illegal sale of the lands. He called on government to hold accountable the elders responsible for any mayhem that might have been caused in Tetegu because of their illegal behavior. Mr Larbi, however, regretted that several attempts by his company to get the chiefs to return the lands have proved futile. His company has therefore initiated a move to go to court to seek writ of possesssion and demolition order to reclaim their land.
In a related development, when the JID team contacted the Wulormo of Aplaku, who is also the acting chief of Aplaku, Nii Tetteh Nartey denied all the claims made by Tare Properties, saying there is no court injunction on the land currently but rather several attempts have been made to sit with Tare Properties but to no avail.
But our checks however later revealed that the injunction was placed on the land during the period of the court case between 2006 until 2015 when judgement was pronounced in favour of the chiefs of Tetegu.
By Kojo Aidoo & Joseph Wemakor
The writers are members of Journalists in Development (JID)