Some residents at Tarkwa Banso in Western region numbering about fifty-nine (59) have sued the Ghana Manganese Mining Company in the High Court of Justice in Tarkwa for unlawful demolition of their houses and farmlands including cash crops without paying the compensations due them.
The plaintiffs are therefore pleading with the High Court to order for a perpetual injunction directed at the defendant herein restraining it and all others claiming through it from proceeding to demolish or destroy or remove any of the buildings or structures owned or inhabited by the plaintiffs until full and satisfactory compensation and resettlement have been provided by the defendant to the plaintiffs.
A 65-year old Albert Kingsley Prah, interview said the 8th of this month the Company brought demolition notice and gave them up to 13th to vacate the area, however, the contractors with the protection of the armed police officers on Friday, July 10, 2020, stormed the community with bulldozers and started demolishing houses as well as also disconnected electricity connection at Banso community)
“We were even shocked because we are still in the negotiation stage with the Resettlement Monitoring Committee of the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly trying to address the issue and we have not completed the processes but the company has gone ahead to order the contractors to demolish our houses which situation has completely rendered us homeless,” Mr. Prah lamented.
The affected residents further asking the court to order the defendant which is the Ghana Manganese Mining Company Limited to pay prompt and adequate compensation to the plaintiffs herein prior to the imminent destruction of their buildings, houses, farmlands and structures.
GHANA Manganese Mining Company (GMC) which is operating a mining concession for manganese at Banso in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region has demolished dozens of houses and structures of the residents at Banso worth over billions of Ghana Cedis without paying compensations to the affected residents which situation has created tension, confusion and insecurity in the area.
The demolishing exercise by the manganese mining company which was done on Friday, July 10, 2020, has pulled down several housing structures rendering more than hundred people homeless without recourse to the Minerals and Mining (Compensation and Resettlement)Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2175)
.According to the affected residents, they were in the borne of contention with the manganese mining company as a result of improper negotiation of the resettlement compensation packages.
They pointed out that they were resisting not to go and occupy the place the company has built to resettle them because the number of the rooms in the building structures were not up to their rooms they are living in before the company wanted to relocate them.
“We were even stunned because we are still in the negotiation stage with the Resettlement Monitoring Committee of the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly trying to address the issue and we have not completed the processes but the company has gone ahead to order the contractors to demolish our houses which situation has completely rendered us homeless,” the residents stated.
A statement of case filed on July 8, 2020, on behalf of the plaintiffs by the Counsel at the Center for Public Interest Law, the legal firm situated at Haatso in the Greater Accra Region, Mr Augustine Niber is asking the court to make a declaration that the plaintiffs being owners or lawful occupiers whose permanent dwelling and other immovable properties are affected by the proposed mineral operation of the Ghana Manganese Company Limited (a holder of a mining lease), are “inhabitants” as defined in the Minerals and Mining (Compensation and Resettlement) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2175).
The plaintiffs in the claims of the statement are praying the court to declare that as inhabitants, the plaintiffs are entitled to compensation of and resettlement from the defendant as a condition precedent to the lawful commencement of operations on the concession by the defendant.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that the commencement of activities and operations by the defendants before the resettlement of plaintiffs, is unlawful and contrary to section 14(3) of Minerals and Mining (Compensation and Resettlement) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2175).
The plaintiffs further praying the court to declare that the continued delay and/or refusal by the defendant to promptly compensate the plaintiffs and subsequent threats to forcibly evict them and demolish their buildings, structures, farmlands and other properties which serve as their only and main place of abode is unlawful under the 1992 Constitution and other relevant laws of Ghana.
The court according to the plaintiffs, should declare that the continued delay and/or refusal by the defendant to promptly resettle the plaintiffs before carrying out the destruction of their buildings, structures and other properties which serve as their only or main place of abode is unlawful under the 1992 Constitution and other relevant laws of Ghana