Information on State lands, disallowances: OccupyGhana mounts pressure on Lands Commission, Auditor-General

OccupyGhana, a pressure group, says it will send daily reminders to the Lands Commission until it grants its request for information on released or relinquished state lands.

The Right to Information Commission (RTIC), in a ruling last week, directed the Lands Commission to grant the request within fourteen days.

OccupyGhana, in June 2022, requested the Lands Commission to furnish it with information on all state lands that had been returned to their “original owners” among other details.

The Group, after months of not being served with the information it requested under the Right to Information Act, 2019, sought the intervention of the RIC on the matter in September 2022.

The RIC, after interrogating the issues, delivered its ruling on March 1, 2023.

On March 2, 2023, OccupyGhana wrote to the Lands Commission to inform it about the ruling and requested for the said information accordingly.

In another letter dated March 9, 2023, the Group expressed concerns that the request had not been granted eight days after the ruling.

“We asked that if the information was in hardcopy, you let us know the total cost of it so that we may pay for and collect it. We also asked that if it is in softcopy, you let us know when, and to whom, we may submit a hard drive on which you will install the information,” it said in the letter.

The Group added: “We will send you daily reminders until you deliver the information to us.”

Occupy Ghana said it would take all steps under the law to ensure that the Commission complied with the RTIC’s order if the Lands Commission failed to grant the request after 14 days.

In a related development, OccupyGhana has served notice that it would report the Auditor General’s Department to the RTIC if it failed to grant its request for information on the Auditor General’s claim that it had retrieved GHȻ2.2 billion, representing disallowances from 2017 to 2020.

On September 30, 2022, OccupyGhana wrote to the Department, demanding evidence backing the claim.

In a letter dated March 7, 2023, the Group said the A-G’s Department had failed to grant the request eight months on.

“We write to repeat our request and to notify you that we will escalate this request to the Right to Information Commission, if we do not receive a copy of the promised report from you within seven days of the date of this letter,” the letter stated.

Source: GNA

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