A private legal practitioner, Egbert Faibille has said that owners of demolished structures can take the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to court if constitutional provisions fir such exercises were not adhered to.
[contextly_sidebar id=”1fAqbKkZP57UOoUnc87RDM1zFMSsrgvT”]According to Egbert Faibille, the Constitution specifies what the Assembly should do before pulling down structures.
He noted that according to the Local Government Act 1993, Act 462, section 52 “where a physical development has been or is being carried out without a permit contrary to this act or the conditions incorporated in the permit are not complied with, a district planning authority may give a written notice in the prescribed form to the owner of the land requiring the owner…to show cause in written…why the unauthorized development should not be demolished.”
Egbert Faibille further explained that the MMDAs do “not necessarily have to go to court per this provision of the law before it demolishes a building…Anyone whose structure was demolished can go to court if he feels aggrieved ”
He was commenting a demolition exercise being undertaken by the Ga West Municipal Assembly that led some confusion in the area on Monday.
The Assembly has since Friday been demolishing structures in the municipality allegedly sited on waterways and without permit.
On Monday, it demolished a filling station after giving a three-day notice to the owner of the facility.
But, speaking on Eyewitness News, Egbert Faibille said though a court order is not necessary before demolition exercises are carried out, it is important to respect the rights of the owners.
“You also need to situate this in the context of Act 18(2) of the 1992 Constitution that provides that you cannot interfere with someone’s property unless it is in accordance with law. So there is a constitutional right to property enshrined there.”
“We need to look at this carefully because this law in Act 462 says succinctly what ought to be done but then the constitution which is the highest law of the land says you can’t interfere with my property unless it is in accordance with the law. So these two laws have to be put together….there is an obligation on the assembly to work within the limits of the law,” he added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana