The Ghana Police Service has launched a full-scale investigation into an allegation made against the use of its service patrol team to provide protection for surveyors on a tract of land situated at Katamanso, in the Kpone-Katamanso Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The patrol team with a service vehicle, bearing registration number GP 175, and based at Lakeside Estates in Accra, on the 6th of September, 2022, was reportedly sighted on the tract of land together with persons who claimed to be private security officers, providing security for some surveyors, who were using Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to pick data for plotting the site plan, based on the ground position.
On September 10, 2022, lawyers from AHMED LEGAL CONSULT petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) over the matter.
In the petition, the lawyers said “We write for and on behalf of OKLEY FAMILY to humbly request the urgent intervention of your good offices to investigate and immediately halt the repeated and illegitimate use of Police authority and armed wielding land guards in attempts by some faceless developer, in continuously committing acts of trespass on our client’s land.
This faceless developer’s basis of the claim is unknown but he relies on arms-wielding land guards that are forcefully and unlawfully rendering support and security services led by a certain developer (name withheld) under the cover of V. I. C. Private Security.
The said security company in their activities, unfortunately within their entourage was a police vehicle with marked GP 175 that rendered support.”
Read portions of the petition:
Our client’s land has been owned and occupied by them for several decades. Their ownership is evidenced by Land Certificate TD 221 Vol 019 Folio 949.
For the avoidance of doubt, no court in Ghana has set aside the family’s title and under Section 119 of the Land Act 2020 (ACT 1035) their interest in their land remains indefensible against all claims.
From the foregoing, it is quite clear that our client has a valid title to its lands, since its title has not been set aside by any court, there is no legal basis for any person whosoever to enter same without their consent, and to furthermore disrupt activities of grantees in a very callous and violent manner.
The 1992 Constitution also guarantees the non-interference of their land without due process or legal basis. In fact, the Criminal laws of Ghana criminalizes the entry into a person’s land without lawful authority.
These encroachers knowing that our client has a valid claim and title to their lands, have been resorting to the use of gun wielding land guards with support of the police to terrorize our client, rather than opting to the courts assuming they have a valid grievances. We are informed that the most recent violation of our client occurred on September 6, 2022.
On the said day, these land guards again entered the land and began pegging whiles threatening to deal with anyone that came close to them. We are informed that warning shots were also fired indiscriminately. The developer was bolstered by the assistance of a the V. I. C. Private Security.
We rely on the Police to protect all from criminals and unlawful intruders, especially with the passing of the Anti-Land Guard laws, however, it appears these individuals are rather being shielded by the Police.
Our client informs us that they have previously lodged several complaints and petitioned regarding these activities.
We are further informed that one of such petitions was dated 26th January 2022 but till date, no update has been received and no action seem to have been taken, which is systematically emboldening these individuals in their nefarious activities.
To this end, we humbly bring the foregoing to your attention for your timely intervention in putting to an end this intimidation, extortion and the unlawful use of Police authority and gun-wielding land guards in the taking over of our client’s lands.”
A highly placed Police Service source at the Headquarters, confirmed that such a petition was received in addition to the Service’s channel of communication followed.
The source who re-echoed the Police Administration’s resolve to weed out criminals and miscreants from the system, hinted that as part of the investigation, four policemen including an Inspector, who happened to be on-board the Service Vehicle – GP 175 on the 6th day of September 2022 and spotted on the tract of land at Katamanso, were released by the Lakeside Estate Police, to assist Katamanso with the inquisition.
On the security company – V. I. C. Private Security, the source intimates that efforts are underway to establish if they are in good standing to operate as a private security concern and this entails registration at the Registrar General’s Office, background verification by the Police Headquarters, after which an appropriate uniform is prescribed before finally the Ministry of Interior for Permit to Operate as a private Security.