Ningo Prampram Lawmaker Samuel Nartey George has criticized all persons who engage in land grabs and looting of state properties. He described such persons as a disgrace to Ghana’s democracy.
Commenting on the ongoing controversy surrounding the Achimota Forest, in a tweet, Sam George said “Achimota Forest land grab = CREATE, LOOT & SHARE! Any politician, past or present, NDC or NPP, member of the Legislature or Judiciary or business person involved in this blatant looting scheme is a disgrace to our democracy. Shame on you all!”
Meanwhile, the Office of the Special has said it has started investigations into the alleged improper acquisition of state lands by the late former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John).
A statement issued by the OSP on Thursday, May 26 said: “The Office of the Special Prosecutor has commenced full investigations into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of alleged improper and unlawful acquisition of state lands at the Achimota Forest enclave and Ramstar catchment at Sakumono in Accra by former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John (Now deceased) and other persons.”
An anti-corruption campaigner, William Nyarko, had petitioned the OSP to look into this mater.
The petition dated 24th May 2022 said “I write on behalf of Corruption Watch Ghana to petition the Special Prosecutor to investigate the alleged acquisition of several acres of alleged state lands situated in the Achimota Forest and Ramsar sites in Sakumono by three artificial persons namely Jakaypros Limited, Fasoh Limited, DML Limited, and two natural persons namely Charles Owusu, an officer of the Forestry Commission and Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, now deceased, who served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission from March 2017 until July 2020.
“This petition is brought under Section 1, Subsection 3 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) which mandates the Office of the Special Prosecutor to ‘investigate alleged or suspected cases of corruption or a corruption related offence involving public officers, Politically Exposed Persons….’.
“The deceased was a public officer and a Politically Exposed Person within the meaning of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), when he served as the CEO of the Forestry Commission and singularly or jointly allegedly acquired the said lands with other natural and artificial persons during the period he was the CEO of the said commission. One such person was Charles Owusu also a public officer and a Politically Exposed Person.”
The Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, James Dadson has however, said there is no record of Sir John at the commission owning portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.
“There is nothing in our records concerning that. What you read is what I have read. We don’t have anything recorded here for Sir John as far as our records are concerned,” James Dadson told journalists in Accra on Monday May 23.
A supposed will of Sir John which is currently in circulation in a section of the Ghanaian media indicated that the late Forer General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) owned portions of the forest reserve and accordingly bequeathed them to his relatives.