TMA Hot Over GH¢3m Judgment Debt

The Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) is in hot waters over the confiscation of some construction equipment belonging to the assembly by Samuel Kofi Diame, an estate developer who resides at Baatsona on the Spintex Road, Accra, over a GH¢3 million judgment debt.

A total of six pay loaders and other property belonging to the assembly have been confiscated by Mr Diame due to the assembly’s inability to pay the debt which was incurred through the demolition of a 20-feet fence wall and an uncompleted single room boys quarters belonging to him.

The over two years legal tussle between the assembly and the estate developer, who was said to have no permit for construction, ended on May 7, 2014 when a Tema Circuit Court presided over by Anthony Kingsley Oppong fined the assembly the said amount of money for wrongfully demolishing the structures.

A year on, the assembly has failed to comply with the court’s order, compelling the businessman to secure a confiscation order from the court together with a bailiff to auction the equipment in order to make up for his loss.

On hearing of the judgment debt and the confiscation of the assembly’s property, DAILY GUIDE got in touch with the lawyer for the assembly, Emmanuel Amenugbor, who confirmed the seizure of the equipment.

He added that an appeal would be filed to test the fate of the previous judgment, noting that it had come as a surprise to most senior staff of the assembly, including the Chief Executive Officer, Isaac Ashai Odamtten.

According to him, the engineer who caused the debt for the assembly had retired.

The incident that led to the judgment debt happened somewhere in November 2012 when the estate developer, who owns a piece of land with land title certificate No. TD 6792, had part of his property on that land destroyed by the assembly.

Mr Diame reportedly commenced the construction of a fence wall and a single room apartment which blocked a road near his house.

The attention of the TMA was drawn to the situation and the assembly, led by E.K. Duodo, former Metropolitan Engineer, after issuing several warnings to the developer, decided to demolish the wall and the single room apartment, which was then at the lintel level.

The planning scheme did not indicate that where the estate developer was constructing his fence wall was a road. As a result, without wasting time, the developer filed a suit at the Tema Circuit Court against the public institution for unlawfully demolishing his property.

The case travelled all the way to May 2014 when a judgment was made in favour of the developer. The court asked the assembly to pay the sum of GH¢3 million after TMA was unable to produce a single person to stand as a witness.

After a year, the assembly was unable to comply with the order of the court, compelling the claimant to seek for a confiscation and enforcement order to seize property belonging to the assembly.

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