Justice of the High Courts of Ghana and The Gambia, Alexander Osei Tutu has revealed that there are plans in place, under Section 14 of the Land Act, to establish a customary land secretariat.

Speaking on The Law on JoyNews, on Sunday, he said that this secretariate will give landowners, especially stools, clans, skins or families an opportunity to register all their lands with their details and transactions.

The customary land secretariat, Justice Osei Tutu told the host Samson Lardy Anyenini, is expected to help manage the lands and assist buyers to desist from purchasing already bought lands.

“The law under section 14 is creating something called customary land secretariat and it beholds on every stool, skin, clan or family to ensure that it establishes its customary land secretariat.”

“This is so that all the details about its land will be provided. The Lands Commission is in the process of getting it in place,” he said.

Justice Osei Tutu stated that people who want to acquire lands will need to go to the secretariat to make enquiries about the lands they are interested in.

“It will make it easier for a prospective purchaser to know which land is incumbent and which land is not,” he added.

Again, Justice Osei Tutu believes that getting every family, skin, stool or clan who owns lands to create their own secretariat might be challenging.

“I was thinking we would have a uniform secretariat that would take care of all these customary entities, a secretariat that would register all the lands without leaving it to individual family and stools to create their own secretariat,” he added.

Meanwhile, Justice Osei Tutu added that land titles in Ghana cannot be sold by the state, families, stools or skins to individuals or organizations forever.

According to him, the Constitution of Ghana places limitations on the number of years that any of these entities can give out land.

“So if you go to a chief and you say you want a freehold, give me a land where there is no limited period, the law does not permit that. A stool cannot give you, a skin cannot give you, a clan cannot give you, and even family.”

“Before this law, that is Act 1036, the limitation was only in respect of stools, but now Act 1036 Section 9 has extended the prohibition to cover families.”

This he explained is to prevent the incidence of land grabbing by rich and powerful individuals and foreigners in the country.