May 26, 2022

Ministry Of Lands Says Jinapor Has Written To Forestry, Lands Commissions, And Owoo Family Requesting All Info On Achimota Forest

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource, says its boss, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has written three different letters addressed to three different entities and key factors in the Achimota Forest saga.

The first letter, it said, was addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, asking him for information on all leases granted by the Forestry Commission over the 1,185 acres Achimota forest reserve.

He is also seeking of the Forestry Commissions, any “amendment or variation to those leases as well as subleases or assignments granted over any part of the land”.

Another letter to the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, is requesting information on all transactions affecting the land acquired in 1927, including de-gazetting, leases, subleases, assignments and other transfers or disposition of any part of the lands in question, whether made by the Forestry Commission or any other person, a press release from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource said.

In another letter to the Nii Owoo Royal Family, the ones described by the government as the original owners of the Achimota Forest reserve, “the Minister has asked the family to submit to his office all leases and assignments granted by the family to any person”.

Additionally, the addressees are to provide the Minister with names and addresses of all beneficiary owners of any part of the land acquired in 1927.

“This will enable the Minister take appropriate actions on Achimota Forest”, it added.

The Achimota Forest has dominated public discourse for about a week after rumours spread that it was for sale.

This, Jinapor debunked during a press conference on May 17, 2022, with the information that only a portion of it had been declassified and given back to its “original owners”, the Owoo family.

That was followed by a circulation of an alleged Final Will and Testament of a former General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, known as Sir John who is now late, on social media.

In the alleged will, lands in the state-owned Achimota Forest Reserve and the Sakumono Ramsar site, were being apportioned to his relatives, a development that has infuriated a section of the public.

Following that, the Minister issued a statement on May 22, 2022, noting that the issue relating to ownership of state lands by the former Forestry Commissioner was going to be investigated.

On May 24, 2022, the Ministry released a statement saying that the records at the Lands and Forestry Commissions show no ownership of lands by Sir John.

Another statement released by the Ministry on May 24, 2022 hinted that the Ministry intends to initiate a process of an independent audit on the specific issue of the area de-gazetted, should that become necessary.

Source: Fuseini

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