The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has asked state agencies to investigate and expose persons who have allotted portions of the Achimota forest to themselves.
It noted that the forest reserve had significant impact on the citizenry and “if individuals already have been assigned plots of the land in the forest and the government says it is not the case then we should all be worried and know under what law we decided to dispose of the lands”.
The GII said there were a lot of state agencies who had the mandate to ensure they put the doubt of Ghanaians to rest and look into the issue, not just for the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie popularly known as Sir John but for people who do not have the interest of the country at heart but decided to grab state lands particularly the forest at Achimota.
Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, had stated the Achimota lands mentioned in the last Will of the late Mr Afriyie, the former Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission would not be given to the beneficiaries and directed the Lands and Forestry Commission to deem any ownership of lands, both in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site by the late Mr Afriyie as void.
He said the lands would continue to be property of the state despite the Will being contested in court and reiterated details of the land acquisition could not be found at the Lands Commission.
“Further checks at the Lands and the Forestry Commissions, the repositories of the records of the lands in question, show no record of ownership of lands at the Achimota forest or the Sakumono Ramsar site, by the late Mr Afriyie,” Mr Jinapor noted.
In an earlier statement issued by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said it took serious view of the allegations and has requested all documents relating to the lands in question, as part of an initial inquiry to ascertain veracity of the claims.
It said considering the issues form the basis of the allegations predate the tenure of the current, it was important he was given the full facts to enable him to take appropriate action, if, indeed, there was any merit in the claims.