Trasacco Prevented From ‘Stealing’ Land

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Spining

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The Accra High Court has granted an interlocutory injunction to restrain Ernesto Taricone, the Chief Executive Officer of Trasacco Estates Development Company Ltd, and three others from entering certain portions of land the government leased to the Nungua Stool at Mmai-Dzor in August, 2010. The order followed a motion on notice filed by the Nungua Stool in Accra to restrain the defendants from entering the land in dispute or having anything to do with it pending the determination of the substantive suit. The other defendants in the suit are Pamela Nkansah, Fiore Trust and the Lands Commission. The plaintiff in the case is seeking a declaration that the consent to assignment dated June 20, 2011 purportedly executed by the Nungua Stool to Pamela Nkansah was a product of fraud and, therefore, null and void. It is also seeking a declaration that both deeds of assignment dated January 5, 2011 from Pamela Nkansah to Fiore Trust and Taricone were fraudulent and, therefore, null and void. The plaintiff is furthermore praying for an order directed at the Lands Commission to expunge from its records the consent assignment dated June 28, 2011 in favour of Pamela Nkansah. According to the writ, the plaintiff is also seeking an order for the Lands Commission to expunge from its records the assignment dated January 5, 2011 from Pamela Nkansah to Fiore Trust and Taricone, as well as an order for recovery of the land in dispute. In his statement of claim, the Nungua Mantse, King Odeifio Welentsi III, said in August 2010, the President of the Republic of Ghana, acting through the Lands Commission, granted a 974.53-acre lease of land to the Nungua Stool. It said the lease provided that the stool shall not part with possession assign or charge the land without the written consent of the Lands Commission. It said the lease also provided that no mortgage assignment sub-lease or other dispositions of the land shall be of any legal effect and no such instrument or right, title or interest derived shall be registered by the Lands Commission, except certified by a scheme manager appointed by the Nungua Stool. The statement said the plaintiff had not executed any application for consent to assign in favour of Pamela Nkansah, nor had he authorised the scheme manager to certify any assignment for the defendant. It said, however, that a search conducted at the registry of the Lands Commission in June 2012 revealed that certain portions of the land in dispute had been registered in the name of Pamela Nkansah, Fiore Trust and Taricone by the Lands Commission. It contended that the consent to assign dated June 28, 2011 in favour of Pamela Nkansah and the deeds of assignment dated January 5, 2011 in favour of Fiore Trust and Taricone were all a product of fraud and or forgery. In its ruling, the court, presided over by Mr Justice George Atto Mills-Graves, observed that there were more questions to be tried at the hearing of the substantive suit as to the part played by the Lands Commission in getting the other defendants registered as assignees of the disputed land, in the face of the ?stoic denial by the plaintiff that he has never made any assignments in favour of any of them?

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