The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has requested for information from the Lands Commission, Forestry Commission and the Owoo family on all transactions affecting the 1,185 acres of land acquired by the State in 1927.
The Minister also wants information on the State’s constitution of a Forest Reserve in 1930 under the name Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve.
A statement issued by the Lands Ministry on Thursday noted that the request follows the Minister’s resolve to act on any improper acquisition of public lands, including the Achimota Forest Lands, regardless of how they were acquired.
“In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the Minister asked the Commission to submit to his office, within one week, all leases granted by the Forestry Commission over the 1,185 acres of land, and any amendment or variations to those leases, as well as any sublease of assignment granted over any part of the land,” portions of the statement noted.
The Minister in addition has written to the Lands Commission requesting “all information on all transactions affecting the land acquired in 1927, including de-gazetting, leases, sub-leases, assignments, and other transfer or disposition of any part of the lands in question, whether made by the Forestry Commission or any other person.”
The statement further noted that the Owoo family is also expected to submit to the office of the Lands Minister all sub-leases and assignments granted by the family to any person and should include names and addresses of all beneficiary owners of any part of the land acquired in 1927.
Samuel Abu Jinapor assured that all other matters affecting the lands and natural resources of our country will be dealt with transparently and with the highest standards of integrity and utmost good faith.
The Achimota Forest Reserve has been engulfed with controversy in the past few weeks after a document intended to declassify portions of the land was leaked.
The Lands Minister, Samuel Jinapor later held a press conference to dismiss any sale of portions of the Achimota Forest.
He said rumours suggesting the government has gazetted an Executive Instrument (E.I.) to approve the redesignation, sale or development of the land are fake and must be utterly disregarded.
Some civil society organisations have also called for the suspension of the operation of Executive Instrument (E.I) 144 by government which sought to declassify the Achimota Forest.
In a letter dated May 23, 2022, Occupy Ghana said, “We write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.”
Not long ago, it also emerged that the will of a former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie contains some parcel of lands at the Forest reserve.
Until his death, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, was the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission.
The will, which has been sighted and confirmed by The Fourth Estate, contains four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest, which the late politician bequeathed to named persons.
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