Checks by the Lands and Forestry Commissions, the repositories of records of lands in Ghana, have shown no record of ownership of lands at the Achimota Forest or Sakumono Ramsar in the name of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, the former Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission who was popularly known as Sir John.
But according to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, given the totality of allegations on the matter and the purported bequeathing of those lands by Sir John in his alleged Will, the government has resolved to take over the said lands.
The Sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor has consequently directed the Lands and Forestry Commissions respectively, to deem any lands, both in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site, purportedly owned by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie as void and are to take appropriate actions accordingly.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the bequeathing of the aforesaid lands, if established, will not pass any interest/title to the named beneficiaries in the alleged 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. Government will act on any improper acquisition of any Public Lands, regardless of how it was procured, whether now or in the past, and the Achimota Forest Lands will not be an exception,” a statement issued by the sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, dated Tuesday, May 24, 2022, said.
The Ministry in an earlier statement on May 22 assured to inquire into the allegations regarding the acquisition of lands by Sir John at Achimota Forest and Sakumono Ramsar sites.
According to the minister, preliminary inquiries have revealed that the alleged Will in question is a subject matter of litigation/contestation in the courts.
There has been a public outcry after it emerged that the late Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Forestry Commission Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, had allotted portions of lands at Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar site in his Will.