SHC Loses Property To Private Individual

SAn Accra High Court has ruled in favour of two private citizens who took the State Housing Company (SHC) Limited and four other state institutions to court for encroaching on their property.

The applicants, Jonathan Lamptey and
Funmilayo Lamptey took the National Security Coordinator, National Board for
Small Arms, the Director of BNI, the Attorney General and the SHC Ltd to court
in 2012 for encroaching on their property.

The applicants are said to have purchased
the property from Justice Hammond and Edward Afful, who also got it from the
SHC Ltd. for GH¢150,000 for  a period of
46 years.

The legal tussle began when the then
National Security Coordinator allocated the property at North Labone Estate to
the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons to be used as its

The applicants, however, went to court
contesting the ownership of the property.

In their affidavit in support of the amended
application filed in March 2014, the applicants claimed ownership of the land
by virtue of transfer of lease from one Justice Hammond and Edward Afful,
beneficiaries of the estate of the late Justice William Sakyiama Hammond,
acting through the SHC Ltd.

The applicants averred that in January
2012, officials of National Security, National Commission on Small Arms threw
out their belongings and locked up the premises.

They claimed that their property had been
wrongfully and forcefully occupied by the respondents who had refused them entry.

In response, the respondents in their
affidavit denied that the applicants were the owners of the said parcel of land
covering an area of 0.28 acres.

They averred that the property had since
1957 been that of the Ministry of Finance and when Small Arms Commissions moved
to take possession of the property, they met two gentlemen who claimed to be
assigns of the applicants still occupying it.

The respondents averred that the gentlemen
could not provide any proof of ownership and when confronted that they had been
directed by the Director of BNI to go for a refund of the money they paid to SHC
Ltd, one Colonel Nutakor intervened and pleaded for time to set up a meeting
between the respondents and the applicants.

The Managing Director of SHC Ltd, Francis
Asenso, in an affidavit, averred that the property was erroneously transferred
to Justice Hammond and Edward Afful pursuant to their misrepresentation that
Justice Sekyiama Hammond, an employee of Ministry of Finance who was then
occupying the property, had bequeathed his interest to them.

He averred that before the two finished
paying the stated charges and before their title could be perfected, they
transferred their interest in the property to the applicants and subsequently
applied to have a lease prepared in the name of the applicants which was
prepared and granted to them.

He said the board of the SHC Ltd later
came to a conclusion that the whole transaction ought to be reversed because of
the erroneous representation and the lease was subsequently revoked.

But the presiding judge, at the end of hearing, held that the SHC Ltd cannot execute a lease with the applicants transferring the residue of its interest to them and still claim title to the property.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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