A US-based Ghanaian woman, Everlove Oku, has accused the director of operations at the presidency, Lord Oblitey Commey, of forcibly laying claim to her family's land, destroying her property, and assaulting people who work for her. The presidency has also put YEN.com.gh in touch with Lord Commey's quarters. We present you both sides of the story.
What Everlove Oku told YEN
Oku has reached out to YEN.com.gh with a story and images she says serve as proof that Lord Commey is abusing his power as a government official by unlawfully seizing the property of private citizens.
Virginia-based Oku told this medium that she is the eldest daughter of the late Lawyer Daniel Nii Asare Oku.
She said her father recently died, and that in preparation for the funeral which is set for the end of April, she started building a wall in front of their home at Dansoman, near Wesley Grammar School, in Accra.
She said to her horror and dismay, she received a call from workers at the site that on the morning of March 27, 2017, Lord Commey sent his brother and dozens of land guards armed with cutlasses to the site and claimed it as his.
According Oku, the leader of the land guards, whose name was given as Network, confirmed that Lord Commey had indeed ordered them to lay claim to the land.
She said they warned her that they would kill her if she dared to come to Ghana for her father's funeral.
Oku says that all the relevant documentation for the land are in her name. She told YEN.com.gh that the land guards destroyed the wall which was being constructed and took away her blocks and cement.
"I asked my mason to take pictures of them destroying the wall that was being built, discarding the cement and beating and attacking the workers. The land guards also seized the mason's phone and then hit his head with a cement block. The mason had to go to the emergency room for stitches and injections.
"Lord Commey's younger brother also harassed the driver who has lived with us for many years, accusing him of being my informer," she said.
Oku quoted Network as saying that they were claiming her land in "compensation" for losing a land at Asoredanhu in Dansoman, where the KFC and Shell gas station is located.
"Help me sound the alarm to the nation and bring Lord Commey to order. Lord Commey is abusing his power and role in the government by going around seizing property that does not belong to him," she said.
Oku, who said she would not be intimidated by the threats to kill her, told YEN.com.gh that she would return to Ghana for her father's funeral and file a complaint with the police.
YEN.com.gh spoke via phone to Francis Gamli, the mason who was allegedly attacked by the land guards, and he said he indeed attacked by people affiliated to Lord Commey.
He said he declined to report the assault to the police out of fear of retribution from Lord Commey.
Lord Commey responds
Lord Commey reached out to YEN.com.gh through his press aide, Halifax Ansah-Addo.
The land in question, Lord Commey says, is his after he bought it from Oku's father.
He said he had all the legal documents for that land and that some of Oku's sibling in Ghana are signatories to the documents
Lord Commey said on the morning on March 27, he received information that someone was encroaching on his land at the Dansoman by building a wall on it.
He said he immediately told his boy to go the land and enforce his claim to it.
The director of operations at the presidency admitted that his people demolished the wall which was under construction, but stressed that they were not land guards.
He said they were his friends and supporters, some of whom, he said, lived in his house.
Emphasising that the land was his his, Lord Commey said he bought the house from Oku's father in the presence of some of her siblings, who he said appended their signatures to documents covering the land.
He said when Oku's sibling heard that she had attempted to build a wall on the land, they reached out to him, apologised and urged him to ignore their sisters claim to the land.
Lord Commey also denied that his people threatened to kill Oku, saying that he could not commit murder over what he called a mere piece of land.