May 24, 2022

Ownership Of Lands At Achimota Forest, Ramsar by Sir John Declared Void

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has said he has directed the Lands and Forestry Commissions to declare as void, the ownership of lands at the Achimota Forest reserve and the Sakumono Ramsar site by the late and former CEO of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, known as Sir John.

This was after the Minister conducted an investigation into the ownership of land at the national forest reserve following the circulation of the will of Sir John in which he apportioned some public lands he owned to his relatives.

In a release, the minister said no record in the repository of records of the lands in question showed ownership by the former Forestry commissioner.

That notwithstanding, he added “given the totality of the allegations, I, as Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, have directed the Lands and Forestry Commissions to deem any ownership of lands, both in the Achimota forest and the Sakumono Ramsar site by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie as void and are to take the appropriate actions according.

That, according to Jinapor, means that it shall not be owned by the persons they have been apportioned to in the will.

“These lands, the subject matter of the alleged will, shall remain Public lands, whether or not it falls within the de-gazetted lands pursuant to E. I 144”, he noted.

“Government will act on any improper acquisition of any Public land, regardless of how it was procured, whether now or in the past, and the Achimota Forest lands will not be an exception.

Background

Over the weekend the will alleged to be that of the late Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission and a former general secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, better known as Sir John, circulated on social media.

The will clearly apportion three different lands at the Achimota forest, the lung of Accra, registered in names of companies, to his nephews as well as another public land at the Sakumono Ramsar site.

“I give my land also situate at the Achimota Forest in the name of Fasoh Limited and measuring 0.987 acres to my nephews Michael Owusu, Yaw Boadu and Kwabena Amoateng forever.

“I jointly own a piece of land at Achimota Forest with Charles Owusu. Upon my demise, my portion of land should be given to Ruth Korkor Odonkor.

“I give my portion of land that I jointly own at the Achimota Forest in the name of DML Limited to Elizabeth Asare Boateng who at the time of making this will is domiciled in the USA forever.

“I give my land situate at the Ramsar area at Sakumono in the Greater Accra Region and measuring 5.07 acres to my sisters Abena Saah and her children, Comfort Amoateng and her children, Abena Konadu and Juliet Akua Arko and her children on equal share basis forever”, a part of the will said.

The will was made on 20th May 2020 less than two months before his death.

The circulation of the will came barely a week after the Minister for Land and Natural resources, held a press conference to dispute allegations that the Achimota forest reserve was being sold out.

The minister assured that the government was rather declassifying parts of the Achimota forest and returning them to the Owoo family- the ones described by the government as the rightful owners of the land.

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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