Traditional rulers and their ‘agents’ who engage in multiple sales of lands will be prosecuted, Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and Forestry has warned.
The law, he added, would deal harshly with any personnel of the Lands Commission who facilitated fictitious sales of lands, and land guards whose activities threatened the lives of the people.
Mr. Owusu-Bio, who is the Member of Parliament for Atwima-Nkwabiagya North, gave the warning when he inaugurated the reconstituted Bono Regional Lands Commission on Tuesday in Sunyani.
He expressed disgust about the indiscriminate sales of lands without regard to approved planning schemes by “agents claiming to be acting on the instruction of the traditional authorities.
“The activities of land guards, boundary disputes, unauthorized developments, illegal mining and encroachment on water ways, roads and other open spaces keep hindering the socio-economic development of this region”, the Deputy Minister indicated.
Lands, Mr. Owusu-Bio explained played a vital role in the socio-economic development of the country, indicating section four of the Lands Commission Act, 2008 (Act 767) mandates the lands commission to
“promote the judicious use of land by the society and ensure that land use is in accordance with sustainable management principles and the maintenance of sound socio-economic system”.
“The land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) also aims to revise, harmonize and consolidate the laws on land to ensure sustainable land administration and management, efficient land tenure and to provide for related matters”, he reminded the committee, and asked members to be abreast with all the relevant sections and the functions of the Commission to enable them to discharge their duties expeditiously.
Justice Patrick Baayeh, a Supervising High Court Judge in Sunyani, who later swore-in the 19-member Commission, chaired by Mr. Isaac Kwadwo Amankwaah into office, took the members through the three national oaths of office, secrecy and allegiance.