Land Wars: Land-owners frustrated by police, Lands Commission officials behaviour

Land Wars: Land-owners frustrated by police, Lands Commission officials behaviour
Source: Ghana | | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | Email:, Twitter: @jerrymordy
Date: 03-11-2017 Time: 10:11:55:am

A month after declaring war on activities of land guards in the capital, the Accra Regional Police Commander is reporting progress with the arrests and prosecution of culprits.

In a telling documentary titled, 'Land Wars,' Joy News' Latif Iddrisu revealed the payment of bribes to some officials of Lands Commission to help process documentation of ownership.

Many lands have multiple owners as the land is re-sold to unsuspecting buyers. This results in a kind of vigilantism where 'land guards' are hired to chase away other claimants. 

Their activities have led to deaths, maiming and destruction of properties. Land litigation is often at a snail-pace causing frustration and anguish. Parties to suits must be prepared for a long drawn-out process or just give up.

Discussing the issue on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Friday were the  Accra Regional Police Commander Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) George Alex Mensah, Coordinator of Second Ghana Land Administration Project, Dr. Benjamin Amarh Quaye and Timothy Anyidoho, Greater Accra Manager, Client Service and Access Unit, Lands Commission.

DCOP George Alex Mensah reported some progress in the fight against land guards.

He said after a month of declaring war on the activities of land guards in the capital, there have been arrests and prosecution of suspects - those who hire land guards and the hired.

DCOP Mensah said details of the arrests made so far will be put in the public domain soon.

He mentioned areas where activities of land guards are prevalent as Abokobi-Madina, Baatsonaa, Weija, Amasaman and East Legon.

The menace is prevalent there "because they are the newly developed areas,” indicated.

“The fight has just begun and the police is not going to rest until we reduce it to the barest minimum,” DCOP Mensah assured and vowed that for the thugs, “the police will get at them very soon.”

Dr. Benjamin Amarh Quaye

Commenting on what the Ghana Lands Administration Project is doing to tackle the problems registration, the Coordinator, Dr. Benjamin Amarh Quaye, talked about the policy aimed at addressing multiple sales of lands.

There is also work on how to deal with indeterminate boundaries of land. This is all part of the Second Phase of the Ghana Land Administration Project which began in 2011 and ends early 2018.

Greater Accra Regional Manager, Clients Service and Access Management of Lands Commission Timothy Anyidoho, vigilantism over lands is because of uncertainty.

Timothy Anyidoho

He said the government has also acquired more lands than it needs, leading to attempts to take back portions of government lands by illegal means. 
The manager said in many instances, different people from the same family which has title over a land lay claim to the right to sell it off which confuses buyers and leads to multiple sales.
Mr. Anyidoho admitted the Commission has "baggage" to deal with after several reports of the Commission's inefficiencies.
He said the commission is investigating two cases of alleged bribery of staff members in Accra and in Takoradi. 
To hear the entire discussion and comments from listeners, listen to the audio:

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