Some eleven residents of Gomoa Pretu Akyir popularly known as Winneba Junction in the Goma Central District of the Central Regional have petitioned the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to institute an investigation into the unlawful demolition of their properties by the Effutu Municipal Assembly.
In a statement signed by Mr. Mustapha Ali Harun, Spokesperson for Gomoa Ajumako Development Committee, “The petitioners say the joint action by Effutu Municipal Assembly and Eftutu Police led by Alhaji Kassim Zubairu, the Chief Executive Officer of Effutu Municipality; the Effutu Divisional Commander of Police, Jeff Darko; the Municipal Planning Officer, Isaac Adoa; the Regional Planning Officer, Mr. Mantey Kolley amounts to abuse of state power, abuse of office, arbitrary use of state power; and breach of peace and security in the area.”
They maintained that the life-threatening action by said public office holders and their agents have brought distress upon some indigenes and business operations an uneasy calm and heightened tension between the people of Gomoa Ajumako and Effutu Traditional Areas.
The petitioners are also accusing the Effutu Police of bias and aiding the MCE to perpetuate his unlawful actions. They alleged that the victims of the demolition exercise have since been denied filing any complaint and the Police have never arrested let a lot prosecuted anyone.
Their petition, according to them is necessitated by the failure of the Central Reginal Security Council and the Central Regional Minister to any action to bring the perpetrators of this unlawful act since September 2022 hence empowering the MCE and his agents to continue to attack and terrorize residents and businesses in the area.
According to Mr. Harun, Gomoa Pretu Akyir does not fall within the administrative areas of the Effutu Municipal Assembly but rather the Goma Central District, and wondered why the MCE will even think of embarking on such activities there.
If readers can recall, it was reported in the news that on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, personnel from the Effutu Municipal Assembly Works Department went to Gomoa Pretu Akyir in the Gomoa Central District to inspect building permits from residential and commercial properties developed in the area. Some of the property owners they met showed the team building permits procured from the Gomoa Central District Assembly and one business operator assured them he would make it available for inspection the next day as it was not at the site.
On Friday September 16, 2022 in the morning the team from the Effutu Municipal Works Department led by the Physical Planning Offer paid another purported working visit to Gomoa Pretu Akyir in the Gomoa Central District again, this time to inscribe on properties “PRODUCE PERMIT BY E.M.A. 13/09/22 – 23/09/22” and immediately left the area.
About two (2) hours after the first team from the Effutu Works Department led by the Physical Planning Officer had left on Friday, September 16, 2022, to inscribe “PRODUCE PERMIT BY E.M.A. 13/09/22 – 23/09/22”, another team led by the Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Kassim Zubairu, came to undertake demolishing of the same marked residential and commercial properties in the Gomoa Pretu Akyir Community in the Gomoa Central District.
“After the said demolishing, and the life-threatening situation, some of the victims went to three (3) police stations in the area to report the matter but they were denied any official complaints and or statements till date.” – Mr. Harun said is his statement
“That even after the exercise without any reprisal attacks, the MCE in many Radio interviews branded the residents and the land owners as land guards and armed robbers whiles sending his men who came threatening to kill them if they dare step foot in their houses.” – he added
Accordingly, the petitioners under Section 12 of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Act 1993 (Act 456) request to invoke the jurisdiction and powers of CHRAJ under Section 7 of Act 456 to investigate MCE, Municipal Police Commander, Municipal Planning Officer and all their accomplices engaged this unlawful and life-threatening act and where they are found guilty, necessary punishment are applied to serve as a deterrent to other public office holders.