Lands Commission has released over two thousand seven (2,371.867) acres of state lands in Accra, specifically in Mpehuasem, Nungua, Madina and Adentan to the original owners.
Two of those tracts of state lands covering about 1,583 acres have been leased back to the original owners at either very low or no rent.
The remaining four land tracts covering around 780 acres have been released to the original owners, absolutely and for free.
Pressure Group, OccupyGhana, made the disclosure in a letter demanding suspension of all planned releases of public lands until the Government has, after public debate, issued the constitutionally-required Presidential-Approved Written General Directions (PAWGD).
It also called on the Lands Commission to properly disclose information on the current holders of all public lands that have been released and the amount of money derived from third-party leases.
OccupyGhana argue that the Lands Commission is not clothed with powers to unilaterally transfer ownership of public lands to another person.
The letter was addressed to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor, and the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission.
OccupyGhana is demanding that the government ‘cease and desist’ from all planned release of public lands to alleged pre-acquisition owners.
The letter insists that while the Lands Commission manages public land ownership, it must act according to the Constitution and constitutional laws. The Constitution, OccupyGhana said, requires the Lands Commission to act according to PAWGDs issued by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister.
These laws were put in place to prevent unprovoked disposition of lands.
According to OccupyGhana, PAWGDs were put in place to ensure the people of Ghana’s best interests are met in the management of public lands. Further, OccupyGhana argues that the people of Ghana “must have the opportunity to see and debate the draft PAWGDs and express [their] views on them.”
The Pressure Group said that according to letters from July, 2022, there were no PAWGDs in place in the failed attempt to release Achimota Forest lands to so-called pre-acquisition owners.
The letter by OccupyGhana revealed that the Lands Commission had released over two thousand seven (2,371.867) acres of land in Accra, specifically Mpehuasem, Nungua, Madina and Adentan.
They alleged that two of those tracts of land covering about 1,583 acres have been leased back to the original owners at either very low or no rent. The remaining four land tracts covering around 780 acres have been released to the original owners, absolutely and for free.
OccupyGhana insisted that instead of issuing PAWGDs, different Lands Ministers have simply assumed unconstitutional land management powers and issued Executive Instruments to redraw the boundaries, and thereby effectively released the lands.
In OccupyGhana’s assertion, these actions are “unconstitutional and void.”
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