The Lands Ministry says it is examining reports that former Forestry Commission CEO Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, often known as Sir John, gave a portion of Achimota Forest land to his relatives.
“The Ministry takes the allegations seriously and has sought all documentation related to the disputed areas as part of an initial investigation to determine the authenticity of the claims,” the ministry said in a statement.
On Sunday, May 22, an image of a piece of Mr. Afriyie’s Will went viral.
It was found that three parcels of land allegedly located within the Achimota Forest have been allocated to members of the deceased CEO’s family.
This provoked widespread outrage, with some claiming that the government declassified a portion of the Forest as a reserve in order to legalize such allocations.
The Lands Ministry, however, has rejected these assertions, stating that “the difficulties underlying the allegations predate the time of the present Minister, Samuel Abdullai Jinapor.”
“It is essential that he be apprised of all pertinent information to enable him to take proper action, if indeed the accusations have validity.”
The statement continued, “The Ministry assures the general public and the good people of Ghana that the national interest will be protected at all times, particularly in matters pertaining to the Achimota Forest.”
An eight-page Executive Instrument (E.I.) was widely disseminated on social media, claiming that the Achimota Forest Reserve’s designation has been revoked to allow for a prospective redevelopment for other reasons.
The instrument published on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by Lands Minister Samuel Abdulai Jinapor stipulated that as of May 1, 2022, the property on which the Forest is situated should cease to be a forest reserve in accordance with Section 19 of the Forest Act of 1927. (CAP. 157).
According to that agreement, the suspension was to take effect on May 1, 2022.
Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has stated, “The government is not selling the land.”
According to him, plans are in the works to transform the Achimota Forest into a valuable asset on the global stage.