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.
However, given the totality of allegations on the matter and the said bequeathing of some lands in an alleged Will of Sir John, the government has decided to take over all the lands purportedly acquired by Sir John in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has therefore 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," a statement issued by the sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, dated Tuesda" May 24, 2022 said.
"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," it added.
The minister's statement was a follow up to an earlier statement issued by the ministry on May 22, 2022 on the said lands and allegations that said investigations was to be conducted into the matter.
The Ministry in the May 22 statement committed to inquire into the allegations relating to acquisition of parcels of lands by Sir John in both locations.
According to the minister, preliminary inquiries have revealed that the alleged Will in question is a subject matter of litigation/contestation
in the courts.
Mr Jinapor added that the 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.