By Alex Boye
In 2014, lecturers and middle level staff of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) numbering about a hundred and ten (110) decided to acquire land for their personal use around Nsawam.
They went to the Okyehene who was said to be the custodian of the land, allegedly reached an agreement with him and paid deposit that runs into hundreds of thousands of Ghana Cedis with the intension of paying the remainder over a period of time.
However, when the group decided to conduct a search on the land, it was revealed that the land was not registered in the name of the Okyehene and that it was a property of Koans Building Solutions, the company that birthed Koans Estate.
Incensed, the workers, led by Jones Sarkodie, then of GISMA decided to proceed to court, make the matter public so that the Okyehene could be compelled to refund the money paid to him. Acting on behalf of the Okyehene was his Mponuahene, Nana Mbia.
When Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of KOANS Estates, Mr. Kofi Anokye got to know what had transpired, he engaged the staff of GIMPA and opted to give them that same piece of land, at the same price and treat the deposit given the Okyehene as one given to himself, hence that would be factored into the cost.
At the time, the company sold a plot of land around six though Cedis but were forced to deliver it to the aggrieved workers at less than Five Thousand Cedis due to the failed deal with the Akyenhene.
This intervention of Mr Anokye reportedly pleased the Okyehene and it effectively created an opening for a relationship to ensue between the two.
The staff of GIMPA in appreciation of Mr Anokye’s intervention recommended him to their mother institution.
In view of this, when GIMPA decided to acquire a place for future expansion, Koans Group was invited to submit a bid and won due to the advantage of being placed close to their staff and the general goodwill the two entities had.
GIMPA further made a request that he (Kofi Anokye) should reduce his asking price to the exact amount given the lectures and staffs to prevent allegations and speculations about the deal in typical Ghanaian fashion even though that in itself was a compromise on the part of the company to allegedly shield the eminent Chief.
An agreement was reached, GIMPA conducted a search on the land and satisfied with the result, proceeded to commit themselves to it.
It was agreed that the company would provide GIMPA a thousand acre plot of land to be paid in instalment of two trenches annually for 6 years.
When the Okyehene got wind of this new deal, he allegedly wrote to GIMPA to demand a share of the money even though it had been established beyond reasonable doubt that the property did not belong to him.
GIMPA referred him Koans who went further to pay monies which, according to our source, amounted to about Five Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis.
That did not put the matter to rest. Another letter from the Office of the Okyehene went to GIMPA making same demands, the then GIMPA Council Chair and his team decided to ignore it and deal with the legitimate owner of the land.
Back and forth the NDC lost the election, NPP took over and the council was dissolved.
Nana Kofi Asante Bediatuo, a sub-chief under the Okyehene and father of Asante Bediatuo was appointed to head the new council in late 2017 and the drama started.
GIMPA decided to abrogate the contract and stopped payment from the first instalment of the year which was supposed to be the month of March.
After both parties refused to agree to the new stance of the institution, Koans proceeded to court and won, compelling GIMPA to stick to the terms of the agreement.
Adamant, GIMPA filed for a stay of execution and were given a period of four months, starting November 3rd and ending April 3, this year, to enter an appeal.
Meanwhile, our information has it that the council is not allowed to discuss the matter and that Nana Kofi Asante Bediatuo has taken over the matter and allegedly turned deaf ear to differing opinion even though most management of the institution are uncomfortable with how it is being handled.
To those at GIMPA and to workers of Koans, Nana Kofi Asante Bediatuo is representing the interest of the Okyehene and hence his attitude towards the deal which was always of interest to the Okyehene.
He is said to have vowed to litigate to all levels regardless of how it costs. The previous judgement in favour of Koans asked the institution to pay the amount with interest amounting to almost two Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis. That money has increased and therefore any judgement in favour of the private developer may come with huge interest slapped on the institution.
Tongues are wagging over whether the issues are mere coincidences, is the decision to abrogate legitimate? Why the sudden U-turn with the appointment of Okyehene’s close associate?
More to come.