There is no legal obligation for govt to release state lands to owners – OneGhana

Achimota Forest 1ab.png Aerial view of the Achimota Forest

Mon, 30 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Stop transfer of Achimota Forest land – OneGhana Movement to Akufo-Addo

Releasing portions of Achimota Forest land endangers integrity of reserve, OneGhana

Govt releases peripheral portions of Achimota Forest land to Owoo Family

Civil Society Organization, OneGhana Movement, has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to stop the transfer of peripheral portions of the Achimota Forest Land to the Owoo Family.

In a statement it issued, the movement said that the government had to cancel the planned release of portions of the land because it appears government officials who were put in charge of preserving the land have acquired portions of the land for themselves.

The statement added that releasing portions of the forest land for private purposes endangers the ecological integrity of the reserves in the Greater Accra region.

“Government attempts to transfer parts of the forest to private individuals is even more disconcerting given the fact that the Supreme Court has clearly decided that Government is under no legal obligation to return lands that were previously vested in the State prior to the 1992 constitution, into private hands. Therefore, there is neither legal pressure nor necessity to justify any action to give away the State’s interest in the Achimota Forest.

“The leaked information on the past sale of State lands only affirms that the abuse of power by the ruling political elite will remain a feature of our governance unless we diffuse the excessive power reposed in a partisan presidency. It is a cold reminder of the need for reform of critical portions of our constitution to minimise or mitigate the wanton abuse of executive power,” portions of the statement read.

OneGhana added that it has filed statements with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to ensure the attempts to rob the states and deprive it of the only forest in its capital town are curtailed.

The government enacted an Executive Instrument to declassify portions of the Achimota Forest land as a reserve so that it can be given back to its pre-acquisition owners, the Owoo Family.

However, a supposed Will of former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie [Sir John] indicated that some members of the governing NPP have already acquired some portions of the Achimota forest lands even before the government returns parts of the forest to the Owoo family.

In the said Will, Sir John Willed portions of the Achimota Forest lands to his relations.

"I give my portion of the 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," portions of the purported Will read.

Read the full statement released by the OneGhana Movement below:

Catch up on this episode of The Lowdown on GhanaWeb TV here:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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