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There’s ‘evidence’ some state lands ‘quietly sold to gov’t, party officials’; revoke Achimota forest EI now! OG

Pressure group OccupyGhana has written to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, in relation to the recent reclassification of the Achimota Forest reserve in specific and the general phenomenon of returning government lands to their former owners, saying there is “evidence of how some of these lands have been quietly sold to government and party officials”.

“Since sending that letter to you, we have had further cause to believe that this state of affairs is worse and much wider than is apparent”, a statement issued by the group on Monday, 23 May 2022 stated, adding: “We are also concerned that there might have been serious instances of conflict of interest and conflict of duty involving government officials and other government actors, concerning those lands”.
 
“We, therefore, write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith”, the group insisted.

Instead, it noted, “we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve”.
 
The government has been explaining that it is returning 361 acres of peripheral lands bordering the forest reserve to the custodial owners, being the Owoo family.

It recently emerged that some of those lands were captured as an inheritance in the will of the late CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kojo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John).

Read OccupyGhana’s full statement below:

23 May 2022
 
Abu Jinapor, MP
The Honourable Minister
Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
Accra
 
Dear Sir:
 
RE: OCCUPYGHANA LBG DISAGREES WITH ANY FURTHER RELEASE OF ACHIMOTA LANDS
 
In our letter to you dated 18 May 2022 on the above-entitled matter, we conveyed our vehement disagreement with the alleged plans to return substantial portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to its former owners.

Regarding the general matter of returning government lands to former owners, we stated as follows:
 
“There is also evidence of how some of these lands have been quietly sold to government and party officials.”
 
Since sending that letter to you, we have had further cause to believe that this state of affairs is worse and much wider than is apparent. We are also concerned that there might have been serious instances of conflict of interest and conflict of duty involving government officials and other government actors, concerning those lands.
 
We, therefore, write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.

Instead, we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve.
 
While the Achimota Forest Reserve issue requires immediate attention, we further demand a similar inquiry into all alleged return of government lands to former owners that have occurred under the Fourth Republic. The purpose of the inquiries would be to reverse any illegal acts perpetrated, and improper gains made, by government officials under the guise of returning lands.
 
Yours in the Service of God and Country
 
OccupyGhana LBG

Source: Classfmonline.com

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