Traditional leader urges colleagues to safeguard lands
Nana Kwamena Ansah VI, Omanhen of Eguafo Traditional Area in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District of the Central Region on Thursday advised chiefs to properly “document” their stool lands to minimize land disputes in the country.
He noted that the era of oral transaction on land ownership was over and it was about time chiefs ensured that their lands were safeguarded with the requisite documentation to forestall litigation which stole productive time and energy.
Nana Ansah was addressing a two-day workshop organized by the National House of Chiefs and Law Reform Commission with support from the German Development Cooperation (GTZ) under its Ascertainment and Codification of Customary Law Project (ACLP) to validate the findings of land and customary law data collected from the Eguafo area in February last year.
The ACLP was jointly established in 2006 by the National House and the Law Reform Committee to carry out research into customary law rules and practices on land and family and codify them to ensure sanity in land administration.
During last year’s research which was done in 20 communities throughout the country, Paramount and divisional Chiefs, Queens, indigenous and settler farmers among others were interviewed by a team of researchers and this year, series of workshops are being organized to validate the data collected.
Nana Ansah said there was one sets of conditions for acquiring land in the Eguafo area which applied to buyers irrespective of gender but explained that a man cannot will his land to his children but a woman could do so because people from Eguafo were matrilineal.
Mrs. Mintah-Premo, Executive Director, noted that even though customary law is an important source of law in Ghana, what constitute it is not always clear, resulting in the numerous land conflicts that has beset land acquisition in the country.
It was in this regard that information is being collated and the final output compiled into a land and family law to assist in the settlement of disputes and to bring transparency in land transactions to aid development, she added.
A member of the joint steering committee of the ACLP, Mrs. Ama Fowa Hammond said the gaps in the knowledge of customary laws accounts for the high incidents of chieftaincy disputes.
“Therefore the systematized documentation of customary law rules that are easily ascertainable and accessible would be of immeasurable benefit to the country”, she added.