‘Digging fee’ is illegal: Get restraining order to stop grantor from coming on land –High Court Justice

"It's a criminal offense and it's punishable summarily between 10-15 years"

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

A Justice of the High Court of Ghana currently on secondment in the Gambia, Justice Alexander Osei Tutu has indicated that it is a criminal offense for a grantor to turn round and demand a ‘digging fee’ from the grantee.

He notes a grantee has an implied right which is the quiet enjoyment of the land which he has purchased thus being made to pay a “digging fee’ is criminal and can land the grantor in jail for between 10- 15 years in jail.

“One of the implied covenants which the law provides is that the grantor is supposed to give the grantee the quiet enjoyment of the land. That means that for the period that the person will be on the land, you will not disturb him. You will not disturb 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 round to say I'm demanding this and that from you.”

Speaking on the Essential themes of the Land Law on the Law program on Sunday, June 5, 2022, Justice Osei Tutu added that such a demand is illegal and one can go to court and get a restraining order stopping them from coming on the land.

Additionally, he indicated that a grantee can also report to the police.

“The person can further report them to the police. It's now criminalized. It's a criminal offense and it's punishable summarily between 10-15 years. You can go to court for the order and at the same time, go to the police to lodge a complaint.”