The government will from next week commence the process to regularise the stay of encroachers on the 900 acres of land situated at Frafraha in the Adentan Municipality belonging to the Animal Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The encroachers, estimated to be about 4,000 houses, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey noted, have been residents of the land for more than 20 years.
During a meeting with some of the encroachers in Accra yesterday, he said the remaining 200 acres of land where demolition of structures took place last week was a “no-go area” and warned encroachers to stay off it.
He warned that anyone who develops any portion of the land would have their structures demolished and prosecuted.
Explaining the government’s decision to regularise the stay of the encroachers, Mr Quartey, noted that due to the development of 900-acre land, it could no longer be used for the intended research purposes.
He said the decision was to enable the government sell off the land to the encroachers for them to have titles to their portions of land.
Additionally, he said the move would enable the assembly to realise the necessary revenue from the encroachers, who had occupied their properties for years without paying property rate and other required levies.
He stated that the decision was a one-off move and was not intended to spark similar petitions from encroachers on state lands, saying that “we will not entertain such calls at all.”
The Regional Minister charged the CSIR to take immediate steps to fence the 200 acre land to protect it from future encroachment.
Mr Quartey said the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service had been commissioned to commence investigations into allegations that some staff of the CSIR were involved in the selling of lands, adding that anyone found to have engaged in that would be held culpable.
He indicated that the Regional Security Council would in the coming days undertake another demolition exercise at the Sakumono Ramseyer site to ward off encroachers.
Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, warned against further illegal development on the Frafraha land.
He said officials of the Lands Commission would be deployed to the site to take inventory of the development on the land to enable the planning of the site.
The government, under Executive Instrument (E.I. 38) established the CSIR-ARI on an over 1000-acre land in 1976 at Adentan-Frafrah with a mandate to conduct research into the development and transfer of livestock and poultry technologies to communities, farmer groups, private and public organisations.
When the land was acquired by the government, all owners, including the original owners at Berekuso in the Akuapim District, were compensated.
However, over the years some unscrupulous persons have made it a habit of selling portions of the land.
In 2014, as part of efforts to retrieve the encroached lands, the CSIR-ARI went to court and obtained a Writ of Possession in an attempt to evict encroachers from the land however, the exercise failed to materialise.
In an attempt to stop further encroachment, the institute in 2017, acquired a loan to fence off the remaining 200-acre portion of the land but currently, large portions of the fence have been broken down by encroachers.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS