May 27, 2024

How some unscrupulous elements at the Lands Commission in Accra change titles and resell to unsuspected buyers is playing out in what appears to be a well-calculated plot, leaving an unsuspecting widow desperate in a lone fight to secure the property of her late husband.

Madam Helena Elsie Adorkor Aryee is a retired nurse and a widow. Even though she is the rightful owner of a piece of prime land at Dzorwulu, she has fallen prey to a malicious scheme executed by a land stealing syndicate whose modus operandi is to employ all manner of tactics and means to deprive law – abiding citizens of their assets.

Madam Helena, the paper gathered, acquired this land after the untimely demise of her husband who died in 1996 and has since 16th March, 2009 when the land was vested in her, been the one solely in charge of the land.

In or around December 2022, when she decided to develop a portion of the land some thugs came around to warn her to desist from constructing any structure on the land and used threat and intimidation to scare her representatives and workmen away from the land.

When she persisted, the syndicate operating with unparalleled sophistication, secured the assistance of police officers of the Kotobabi Police Station to aid them in their grand scheme by lodging a complaint against Madam Helena for trespass.

The representatives of Madam Helena, when they were invited to the Police Station, were told by the police officers that the land in question which she knew belonged to her, was now owned by one Emmanuel Kotey Djanie, and thence she, her representatives and all workmen should desist from stepping foot unto the land.

Distressed by the turn of events, Madam Helena started her personal investigation of the land and the persons involved as she felt abandoned by the police who were supposed to stand up to the perpetrators.

Madam Helena investigations however uncovered that horrid modus operandi employed by these unscrupulous criminals.

They begin from Lands Commission’s survey department, where they scour databases and public records to identify properties of unsuspecting victims. Fortified with this information, they assume false identities, and create fictitious documents to ostensibly transfer ownership of land from the victim to individuals of the syndicate.

Back to Madam Helena case, a diligent search conducted at the behest of Madam Helena at Lands Commission revealed that there was a transfer of the land by her to a non – existent company called Expert Hands Limited sometime in October, 2009.

But all efforts to locate the registered office of this company and even the shareholders of this company have proven futile as all searches conducted on the company reveal that it does not exist and has never existed.

After, this non – existent company transferred the land to another member of the syndicate; another fictitious name – Paul Amaoko, who, like the company, is unable to be traced or located.

It is this Paul Amoako, who then sold the land to Emmanuel Kotey Djanie, the person on whose behalf the complaint was lodged at the Kotobabi Police Station by a lease. Like his predecessors, all efforts to locate him have proven futile, thus also suspected to be a fictitious name.

Further searches at the Lands Commission showed the extent of the intricate  web of property fraud cast by the syndicate as they have executed fraudulent deeds of conveyances, deed of assignment and leases and submitted these forged documents to the Lands Commission to obtain valid and legitimate land title certificates to be emboldened to deprive legitimate owners of their land.

From since 2009 till date, Madam Helena has been on the land with no interference from anyone, after placing various tenants of the land and storming the land to sack squatters and other trespassers on the land, now the Police, after conducting their investigation concluded that these unscrupulous persons are the owners of the land and that Madam Helena is not the owner of the land.

Desperate to secure her land, Madam Helena issued a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim at the High Court and filed an Application for Injunction to injunct all these persons from working on the land as they currently continue to work on the land against the wishes and pleas of Madam Helena.

The alarming case of property fraud serves as a stark reminder to remain vigilant and question the authenticity of transactions both by individuals and governmental authorities. It is a wake-up call for homeowners and authorities alike to reinforce safeguards and implement stricter regulations to prevent innocent individuals from falling prey to the dark underbelly of the real estate world.

 

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