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Trade Fair wins court case against evicted tenants

The February demolition of premises at the Trade Fair Site prompted aggrieved tenants to take to the courts – which today rejected their arguments

The Court of Appeal today (Monday 8 June 2020) dismissed a case of contempt brought against the chairman and chief executive officer of the Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd (GTFCL) after GTFCL demolished structures used as business premises by certain previous occupants of the Trade Fair Site.

On 12 February 2020 the high court ruled in favour of the Trade Fair, paving the way for demolition of structures on site.

Some of the aggrieved tenants filed a case of contempt against the two officers of the company for carrying out what they described as their duty.

We shall not be moved

Today the Appeal Court ruled that the tenants had not proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that the chairman and chief executive officer of GTFCL had committed contempt as alleged. The court duly dismissed the tenants’ case.

Attempts by previous governments to develop the Trade Fair Site have failed, partly because of recalcitrant tenants. Successive tenants over the past two decades have refused to vacate despite several notifications.

The Trade Fair’s current chief executive, Agnes Adu, and new board of directors have now succeeded in vacating all tenants from the site. The move will allow for the location’s long-awaited redevelopment to begin later this year.

Dr Adu has spoken of plans to attract US$2 billion in private investment to develop the Trade Fair into a destination of preference for organisers of conferences and large-scale events.

The redevelopment plans include the building of a new five-star hotel.

After the demolition exercise, which took place in February, the opposition National Democratic Congress accused Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd of victimising political opponents. Among long-term tenants whose premises were demolished was the former journalist Raymond Archer.

Abedi Anim

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