The Lands Commission has officially commenced processes to trace the lands captured in the final will of the late Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie also known as Sir John.

The will in circulation names some family members of the late Sir John as beneficiaries of acres of land at the Achimota forest and the Ramsar site.

In an interview with JoyNews, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor explained that the latest move aims to formally annul any land acquired illegally by the late Sir John.

“It is absolutely effective, whatever transactions that were supposed to have taken place, these properties named as part of Sir John’s estate cannot stand.

“And I have written letters to the Lands Commission, so that matter is completely dealt with, those properties will revert to the state,” he emphasised.

He also described calls for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the matter as premature.

“I think it is early days. There’s been Commission of Inquiries in the past, let us also ask ourselves to what extent have they served their purpose and it will not be my decision to make eventually.”

Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu wants the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor to be thorough in their investigations into the conduct of the late Sir John.

Background

A section of Ghanaians have been accusing some government officials of attempting to illegally acquire lands at the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The outcry was a result of President Akufo-Addo signing an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

But even before the dust settled, another jaw-dropping discovery was unearthed in the will of the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.

In the 12-page document, it emerged that the politician owned some parcels of land in the Forest Reserve which he has passed on to inheritors forever.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, James Dadson has said there is no record of Sir John at the commission owning portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

“There is nothing in our records concerning that. What you read is what I have read. We don’t have anything recorded here for Sir John as far as our records are concerned,” James Dadson told journalists in Accra on Monday May 23.