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High Court uphold jail sentence for three persons over fraudulent land deal

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A Kumasi High Court has upheld the seven year-jail sentence with hard labour, imposed on three people, who fraudulently sold plots of land for which they had no title to some unsuspecting developers.

Nana Kwarteng Amaning, a building contractor, Jacob Osei, mason, and Abena Jumaa, farmer, were additionally ordered to refund a total of GH¢25,000.00, representing twice the amount paid to them by the victims to the state.

In default they would serve another 12 months in prison.

A Kumasi Circuit Court had on August 16, last year found the three guilty for conspiracy to commit crime and granting pieces of land to which they had no title, and sentenced Amaning, the ringleader, to three years imprisonment with Osei and Jumaa, getting two years each.

They, however, filed an appeal at the land, labour, human rights and economic (financial) crimes high court seeking to overturn the decision.

Justice Iddrisu Mahamadu, who presided over the court, said “I find, and I so hold, that there is no merit whatsoever in this appeal, and same would be, and is hereby dismissed.”

“The trial Judge carefully considered the evidence on both sides and did a thorough evaluation of same.”

He said his only problem with the judgment had to do with the order for payment of double the monetary consideration that the accused received to the victims.

Justice Mahamadu quoted Section 34 of the Lands Registry Act, 1962, (Act 122), which states “Any person who knowingly purports to make a grant of a piece of land to which he has no title, shall be guilty of an offence which shall be a second degree felony and may, in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed upon him, may liable to pay an amount of twice of the value of the aggregate consideration received by him” and said the amount should be paid to the state and not the victims.

He said the victims could take civil action against the convicts to reclaim their monies by way of damages and costs.

The three were put on trial for unlawfully selling plots of land within the Adum-Kwanwoma Planning Scheme to one Mabel Adusei Tawiah and Evans Asante Manu at a cost of GH¢2,000.00 and GH¢10,500.00 and signed documents to that effect.

They pleaded not guilty.

Source: GNA

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