The Lands Commission says no person, stool, clan or family has the right to sell, develop or grant portions of the 111.125 acre Accra-Mpehuasem Site lands, acquired by government under Executive Instrument (E.I. 16) of 2009.
It said any acquisition of portions of the land by individuals or institutions would be deemed unlawful, void, and conferred no title on the grantee of the land.
The Commission said it had engaged the services of Aynok Holdings Limited with the assistance of the Ghana Police Service to recover any encroached portion of the land and protect the site from further intrusion.
The warning by the Lands Commission follows a statement issued by Nii Torgbor Obodai Ampao VI, the Mantse of Mpehuasem, in the Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, on April 16, 2022, in respect of some lands in the area.
The Chief said in the statement that state institutions are abusing their power by demolishing properties on the land and threatening the peace of the community.
However, Mr James Dadson, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, in a statement shared with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, detailed the facts regarding the ownership of Accra-Mpehuasem Site lands.
In 1974, Government, through the State Lands (Accra-Mpehuasem – Site for Accra Training College) Instrument, 1974 (E.I. 72), acquired a parcel of land, originally measuring approximately 225.18 acres as state land.
The statement said despite the acquisition, the pre-acquisition owners of the land continued to grant portions of it to prospective developers, resulting in massive encroachment.
Following negotiations, Government entered into an agreement with the pre-acquisition owners of the land, dated 16th December 2008, by which Government agreed to release 114.055 acres of the land to the pre-acquisition owners, and retained 111.125 acres, including about 50 acres, which housed the Accra College of Education.
It said per the Agreement, the pre-acquisition owners, in consideration of the land released to them, renounced any future claims to the part of the land retained by Government.
Pursuant to the said Agreement, E.I.72 of 1974 was revoked and replaced with State Land – (Accra-Mpehuasem – Site for Accra Training College) Instrument, 2009 (E.I. 16), which reduced the size of the land acquired by Government from 225.18 acres to the 111.125 acres and released the remaining 114.055 acres to the pre-acquisition owners.
In accordance with Article 258(1) of the 1992 Constitution and Section Five of the Lands Commission Act, 2008 (Act 767), the said land had been under the management of the Lands Commission since it was acquired in 1974.
It said no person, other than the Commission, had the right to make valid grants of the lands retained by the Government under E.I. 16 of 2009.
“The Commission had, previously, issued public notices alerting prospective developers that the said land is a state land, managed by the Lands Commission, and cannot be alienated by any stool, clan, family or individual.”
“Any such grant is unlawful, void and confers no title on the grantee of the land,” it added.
To ensure orderly development of the area, including the need for a conducive atmosphere for academic work for both the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and the Accra College of Education, the Spatial Planning Committee of the Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, on June 22, 2021, approved a local plan for the development of the area, the statement said.
In accordance with the highest standards of transparency, the Commission, on April 16, 2022, issued a public notice, notifying occupants of the said area of the appointment of Aynok Holdings Limited and its intention to clear the area for redevelopment.
“It is the expectation of the Commission that any person who claims to have an interest in any part of the land will approach the Commission for verification,” the statement said.
“It wants to assure the public that as the manager of public lands, it will continue to act in the interest of the state to protect all public lands. Any person who claims to have an interest in any part of the Mpehuasem public land should approach the Commission with his/her documents.”