May 27, 2022

OSP Asks For Cooperation As It Launches Investigations Into Alleged State Lands Ownership By Sir John

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has demanded the full cooperation of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources as it begins investigations into Sir John’s alleged ownership of state lands.

“The Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources is directed to fully cooperate with the OSP in the investigations”.

He will be probing suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of the alleged improper and unlawful acquisition of state lands at the Achimota Forest reserve and the Ramsar catchment at Sakumono by the former and late CEO of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.

The investigations will also cover other persons, the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng said.

This comes after Corruption Watch Ghana, a coalition of anti-corruption civil society organisations petitioned the Special Prosecutor on May 24, 2022, to probe the allegations.

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 the 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 for Lands and Natural Resources 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 however, by his powers, annulled any ownership of state 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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