Persons claiming to have interest in some lands at Mpehuasem at the Ayawaso West Municipality have been challenged by the Lands Commission to show proof to have issues around the parcel of lands resolved.
This call by the Lands Commission comes on the back of allegations of abuse and use of state power by the Commission after the demolition of properties in the area.
Nii Torgbor Obodai Ampao VI Chief of Mpehuasem had accused the Lands Commission of threatening the peace in the community after the purported demolition.
But the Commission in a statement said it “wants to assure the public that as the manager of public lands, it will continue to act in the interest of the state to protect all public lands. Any person who claims to have an interest in any part of the Mpehuasem public land should approach the Commission with his/her documents.”
James Ebenezer Kobina Dadson, Executive Director of the Lands Commission, laid bare the facts of the matter as follows:
- In 1974, Government, through the State Lands (Accra-Mpehuasem – Site for Accra Training College) Instrument, 1974 (E.I. 72), acquired a parcel of land, originally measuring approximately two hundred and twenty-five point one eight acres (225.18 acres) as state land.
- Despite this acquisition, the pre-acquisition owners of the land continued to grant portions of the land to prospective developers, resulting in massive encroachment on the land.
- Following negotiations, the Government entered into an agreement with the pre-acquisition owners of the land, dated 16th December 2008, by which the Government agreed to release one hundred and fourteen point zero five acres (114.055 acres) of the land to the pre-acquisition owners, and retain one hundred and eleven point one two five acres (111.125 acres), including about fifty acres which houses the Accra College of Education.
- By the said Agreement, the pre-acquisition owners, in consideration of the land released to them, renounced any future claims to the part of the land retained by the Government.
- Pursuant to the said Agreement, E.I. 72 of 1974 was revoked and replaced with State Land – (Accra-Mpehuasem – Site for Accra Training College) Instrument, 2009 (E.I. 16), which reduced the size of the land acquired by the Government from 225.18 acres to the 111.125 acres retained by Government and released the remaining 114.055 acres to the pre-acquisition owners.
- In accordance with Article 258(1) of the 1992 Constitution and section 5 of the Lands Commission Act, 2008 (Act 767), the said land has been under the management of the Lands Commission since it was acquired in 1974. No person, other than the Commission has the right to make valid grants of the lands retained by the Government under E.I. 16 of 2009.
- Indeed, the Commission has, previously, issued public notices alerting prospective developers that the said land is state land, managed by the Lands Commission, and cannot be alienated by any stool, clan, family, or individual. Any such grant is unlawful, void, and confers no title on the grantee of the land.
- To ensure the orderly development of the area, including the need to ensure a conducive atmosphere for academic work for both the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and the Accra College of Education, the Spatial Planning Committee of the Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, on 22nd June 2021, approved a local plan for the development of the place.
- To pave way for the redevelopment of the land in accordance with the approved local plan, the Commission under the auspices of the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources has engaged the services of Aynok Holdings Limited with the assistance of the Ghana Police Service to recover the encroached portions of the land and protect the site from further encroachment.
- In accordance with the highest standards of transparency, the Commission, on 16th April 2022, issued a public notice, notifying occupants of the said area of the appointment of Aynok Holdings Limited and its intention to clear the area for the redevelopment of the land. It is the expectation of the Commission that any person who claims to have an interest in any part of the land will approach the Commission for verification.