THE DIRECTOR for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Animal Research Institute (CSIR-ARI), Dr Baba Abdulai Salifu, has cautioned encroachers on a 1335.96 acres property at Katamanso near Accra to relocate for a demolishing exercise to begin.
After battling in court with the squatters for close to seven years, Dr Salifo disclosed at a press conference that the CSIR-ARI suit at the high court has been cleared and judgment given in favour of the council.
According to him, the council now has the legal backing to demolish all structures numbering over 500 found within the catchment area around Katamanso, off the Dodowa road.
Dr Salifo recounted that some of his staff, in an attempt to stop encroachers from developing their sites, were physically assaulted by the squatters and some other people who claimed to be land guards.
“In June 2006, we acquired an interim injunction from the high court restraining over 178 defendants and their agents from having anything to do with the land. The grant of interim injunction did little to deter the encroachers from developing and even reselling the land. The encroachment rather escalated with instances of insecurity perpetuated against the staff of Institute,” Dr Salifu said.
A tour around the institute’s site revealed that some of the encroachers had destroyed pipelines laid to convey water from the dam to the institute.
A Nigerian who claimed he bought the dam and lands surrounding it has put up a resort very close to the dam. He has been preventing cattle belonging to the institute from drinking from the dam.
“This water body needs to be protected from further pollution and we invite the Environmental Protection Agency and Water Commission to come to our assistance,” Dr Salifo lamented.
Fenced land reserved by the institute as pasture and also for agro-forestry research has been heavily encroached with the fences destroyed.
The council warned the general public against purchasing land in surroundings areas noting that; “Unsuspecting members of the public who after this warning still purchase lands on the facility are doing so at their own risk. Those who have already own lands illegally should stop further development and pack off and perhaps get back to those who sold the land to them for their money”
Dr Salifu advised that for every land acquisition process that was carried out Ghana, it was necessary for due diligence to be undertaken before any payment was done. Appropriate permit should be acquired from the appropriate authorities before any development of the land commences.