April 24, 2024

The Supreme Court, led by Gabriel Scott Justice Pwamang, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, expressed displeasure at lawyers of the Lands Commission, and the Apostolic Church of Ghana over a land dispute, according to thelawplatform.com report.

The report explained that the court criticized what they referred to as the flouting of a previous decision regarding a land situated at Sakaman, picking out lawyer Martin Kpebu, lawyer for the Apostolic Church for critique.

The crux of the case had to do with a transaction between the Lands Commission, the Apostolic Church and one Mohammed Odartey Lamptey, who had secured a judgment in his favour as rightful owner of the said land.

During a hearing on an application filed by Nartey Tetteh, the plaintiff’s lawyer and judgment creditor, in the case titled Mohammed Odartey Lamptey v Lands Commission and 2 Others (J8/132/23), a member of the panel, Justice Lovelace-Johnson is reported to have denounced Martin Kpebu’s conduct as contrasting with the principles he advocates on national television.

The Supreme Court, according to the report, considered contempt charges against some of the lawyers before granting them an opportunity to justify their actions.

Justice Amadu Tanko suggested reporting lawyers, particularly Martin Kpebu, to the Bar Association for condoning contempt.

The bench struggled to accept explanations from the Lands Commission’s legal team, which sought more time for negotiations with the judgment creditor after unsuccessful attempts to allocate alternative land to Lamptey.

Justice Amadu Tanko, highlighted Lamptey’s helplessness despite the Supreme Court’s affirmation of his rightful ownership of the Sakaman land. Originally acquired in 2000 for a fuel station, the land was encroached upon and developed by the Apostolic Church, leading to a protracted legal battle.

The bench had recommended monetary compensation to Lamptey as a resolution, emphasizing the embarrassment the matter posed to the government.

GhanaWeb’s efforts to reach Kpebu for explanation on the report has been unsuccessful so far.

Background

Mohammed Odartey Lamptey purchased the disputed land from the Lands Commission in 2000, originally designated for a cemetery but later repurposed. Despite rightful transfer by the Gbawe family, part of the family sold the same land to the Apostolic Church.

Lamptey, losing at the High Court but succeeding on appeal, faced challenges executing the Supreme Court’s decision.

The Lands Commission, post-Supreme Court decision, facilitated a transaction transferring the land to the Apostolic Church.

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