Member of Parliament and a former Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, has described as misleading comments made by Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul against some members of the erstwhile administration.
Mr Nitiwul accused them and their leader, John Dramani Mahama, of looting government lands.
In a statement on Thursday, Mr Ayine said that the Minister of Defense has access to all documents pertaining to the issue at hand. “If he so desired, [he] could have received a proper briefing from the Military High Command, especially the Directorate of Legal Services, before seeking to mislead the public on the matter.”
According to Mr. Ayine, in a suit numbered BL247/2004, the East Dadekopon Development Trust (EDDT) instituted action before the High Court for declaration of title, recovery of possession and perpetual injunction against the Attorney General in respect of the land in question in 2004.
The claim of EDDT was that though the land was not government land, the Ghana Armed Forces claimed ownership of the land and was constantly harassing citizens of La who entered the land for any purpose.
He said the High Court on November 2, 2005 granted leave for recovery of possession of the land by EDDT. Notwithstanding this judgment, EDDT and persons who bought land or derived title from it were not allowed entry onto the land by the military.
In light of the existing High Court judgment and without any new facts emerging, neither the Attorney General nor any of the other defendants filed a defense to this suit.
Instead, the Military High Command requested that the parties meet to explore the possibility of settling the dispute amicably. The former Deputy Attorney General disclosed that several meetings had taken place with correspondences exchanged in an attempt to find an amicable solution to the matter.
He noted that the Ghana Armed Forces admitted that though there had been attempts in the past to compulsorily acquire the land in dispute, that process was never completed.
Mr. Ayine further said although the Defence Minister is reported to have retracted his statement, he feels the need to address the issue to defend the integrity and reputation of Mr Mahama on this issue.