Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Lands Commission Clears Chief Justice

Dr. Odame Larbie (second left) Executive Secretary and Nana Agyei Ampofo (third left) Chairman of Lands Commission addressing the media in Accra yesterday.

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By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday November 3, 2010
The Chairman of Lands Commission, Nana Agyei Ampofo says Chief Justice Georgina Wood did not do commit any offence in the acquisition of a piece of land for her personal use.

“Records at the commission as far as the Chief Justice is concerned show that she has not done anything wrong. If it is in respect of the International Student’s Hostel land then it not enough for Ghanaians to say bad things about her.”

Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday to brief the media on the manner the Lands Commission has handled the management of state lands in the country; Nana Ampofo virtually blamed the erstwhile New Patriotic Party government under President JA Kufuor for the mismanagement of state lands particularly in Accra.

He said the redevelopment scheme which was to ensure the redevelopment of government bungalow sites starting on pilot basis in 1995 was grossly abused under the Kufuor administration saying “it was in the last few years that the scheme was grossly abused when lands were allocated under political considerations.”

He said another scheme called ‘In-filling scheme’ which was carried out extensively in the 1970s but stopped in 1977 were restarted between 2004 and 2008 and areas such as Cantonments, Switchback Road, Ridge, Airport and Roman Ridge all in Accra and an area near the residency in Kumasi were affected.

“The in-filling plots in Accra and Kumasi were allocated at below market prices and subject to the payment of premiums and development charges.”

Nana Ampofo said the government has revoked the rezoning of the International Student’s Hostel land by the NPP administration from civic and cultural use to residential for 25 beneficiaries and added that the land around the Borstal Institute which was rezoned and given to NPP functionaries has also been revoked.

The Lands Commission Chairman said all developments that have encroached the 150 feet reservation zone on the Accra-Tema Motorway corridor “would be abated”.

He said about 77 state lands allocation for which payments were not made had been withdrawn and applicants who followed due process but applied for plots using different names will have the allocations withdrawn.

He said the NDC government has decided to return one-third of plots to be withdrawn to the GaDangme Council adding that most of the state lands allocations were done before the 1992 Constitution was promulgated and the constitutional provisions did not help the case of the Ga people.

Dr. Odame Larbie, Executive Secretary of Lands Commission said his outfit was currently reviewing their operational manual to make the commission more responsive to the challenges of land administration in the country.

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