A High Court Judge, His Lordship, Justice Alexander Osei Tutu, has condemned the practice whereby some persons storm construction sites to demand ‘digging fee’ from land developers.
Speaking on The Law, Sunday, Justice Alexander Osei Tutu noted that it is unlawful for anyone to demand ‘digging fee’ from builders.
“The law has some rights attached to them, they are implied. One of the implied covenants which the law provides is that the grantor is supposed to give the grantee quiet enjoyment of the land. That means that for the period that the person will be on the land, you will not disturb him and his occupation of the land.
“So in this context, after alienating the land to a grantee, I do not see the authority that the grantor has to turn around to say that I am demanding this and that from you. In my view, it is illegal,” he said.
The topic for discussion was, “Essential themes in Land Law: How to acquire and secure land.”
Justice Osei Tutu explained that any individual who faces such threats can obtain a restraining order from the court to prevent persons who demand the digging fee from accessing their land.
“And now you can go to court and get a restraining order which is different from the normal interlocutory injunction. So you can get a restraining order stopping them from coming unto the land and you can continue with your development,” he told Samson Lardy Anyenini.
According to Justice Osei Tutu, the law now criminalises such demands.
“The person can also report them to the police, it is now criminalised and it is a criminal offence. It is punishable summarily between 10 -15 years,” he added.