The Judgement Debt Commission has urged Nana Animah III, Queenmother of Anyaase, one of the flooded areas of the Volta Basin to engage the services of a lawyer to enable them obtain compensation.
Mr Justice Yaw Apau, Sole Commissioner of the Judgement Debt Commission, on Tuesday explained that inundated areas following the construction of the Akosombo Dam were compiled by the Lands Commission and the list forwarded to the Presidency, upon which compensation was paid by the state, but Anyaase was not included.
He gave the advice when the Queenmother took her turn at the Commission?s sitting in Accra.
?You will need the services of a lawyer to help you, it is very important. If you don?t take a lawyer, you will not get anything,? Mr Apau advised.
It will be recalled that cabinet on July 23, 2008, approved the payment of compensations of GH? 138 million for the various stools/families in Pai, Apaaso, Makango, Ahmandi and Krach Traditional Areas.
Nana Animah III said about 27,000 acres of their lands got flooded in the 1960s, and the then Chief of Anyaase, Nana Kwesi Tutu III, who was an illiterate, approached Nana Mamfi Otuabeng II, Chief of Jeketi, a neigbouring settlement to have the flooded areas of Anyaase mapped out and a petition was presented to government on it.
She said unknown to Nana Tutu III, Nana Otuabeng II did the mapping and petition in his name, and allotted portions to his relations, and this came to light after his death.
She said the Elders of Anyaase then petitioned the new Chief of Jeketi, who initially agreed to have the matter resolved but later declined.
The Sole Commissioner asked the Queenmother whether she was aware that about five tranches of compensation payments had been made by the state to Jeketi but she replied in the negative.
Another Volta Basin Compensation beneficiary, who appeared at the Commission?s sitting was Nana Okyeame Dwemoh of Apaaso. In his testimony, Nana Dwemoh said the Paramount Chief of Apaaso, Nana Otieku Amoani Asare, paid him GH? 2000 as compensations from the state for his flooded area.
However, Mr Justice Apau, said the amount the state paid to Nana Dwemoh through Nana Otieku Amoani Asare was GH? 130,012.74.
Upon hearing the amount involved, Nana Dwemoh said the news had made him sick, and was now wondering what to do to retrieve it. This threw the Commission into laughter.
Mr Kofi Dometi Sokpor, Lead Counsel of the Commission asked Nana Dwemoh whether he gave the Paramount Chief the Power of Attorney.
Nana Dwemoh replied that the Paramount Chief convinced him to do so, because at that time he was hospitalized. He said the land in question was a family land belonging to the Okyeame family, and that, it had never being a stool land for the Paramount Chief.
The Lead Counsel advised Nana Dwemoh to engage the services of lawyer to enable him to retrieve the amount due him.
The Sole Commissioner asked Nana Dwemoh if he had ever heard of any settlement in Apaaso by name Ahamandi, which Nana Otieku Amoani Asare had been paid compensations for, to this, Nana Dwemoh replied that he had never in his life heard of it.
Other witnesses who appeared at the Commission were Mr Abekah Fazet, representative of Mr Joshua Attoh Quarshie, on the payment of compensation for Dansoman Estates lands, Nii Adote Din Barimah I, Chief of Mpoasei also on the payment of compensation for the Dansoman Estates lands.
Mr Seth L. T. Kpodovia was also at the Commission in the matter of wrongful dismissal, but was advised to seek redress in the law courts or at the National Labour Commission.
Sitting has being adjourned to Wednesday, October 8, 2014.