The Lands Commission is preparing a demand notice on the Ho Municipal Assembly to pay its yearly rent accumulated for over 52 years to the Commission pending possible ejection in 2020.
This follows the Assembly’s non-payment of grounds rent to the Commission since the land area was leased to it in 1960.
A document chanced upon by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) indicated that the Lands Commission leased the grounds to the then Ho Local Council, now Ho Municipal Assembly on June 3, 1962 at a yearly rent of 22 Ghana Pounds 10 Shillings for 60 years.
The lease, however took effect from July 01, 1960, Mr Gershon Quarmie Tsra, Volta Regional Director of the Lands Commission told the GNA when the Agency sought confirmation from the Commission.
He said there is no record at the Commission to indicate that the Assembly ever paid money to the Commission with only four years left to the expiry of the lease agreement.
Mr Tsra said the Assembly, during the tenure of Captain George Nfodjo, as District Chief Executive, acquired a 60 acre plot of land at Green Valley near the University of Health and Allied Sciences, 40 acres of which has been encroached on and wondered why the Assembly could not relocate to that place.
He said the Assembly had also encroached on state land at the Civic Centre, where it constructed a shopping mall without permit from the Lands Commission.
Mr Tsrah said the Assembly would have to regularize the establishment of the shopping mall there and pay penalty or risk being sanctioned.
He said recently, his officers had to stop the Assembly from putting up an Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre in town until it sought permission from the Commission.
When asked about the alleged encroachment of state lands by the Assembly at a public forum, Mrs Fafa Adinyira, the Municipal Chief Executive said, “we are government so we can take and use any land for the good of the people.”
The Local Government Act designates each Assembly as a “body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its own name.”
The Lands Commission was established under Article 258 of the 1992 Constitution to, “on behalf of the Government, manage public lands and any lands vested in the President by this Constitution or by any other law or any lands vested in the Commission.”