Lands Commission defies Minister’s orders over sale of ISD land?

It is now evident that the Lands Commission is encouraging a private developer to encroach upon a parcel of land allocated to the Information Services Department (ISD).

The said parcel of land is being developed with impunity, despite ministerial orders to stop any further development, pending a decision by the government on the appropriate cause of action to take.

The order to stop work followed a series of meetings between Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Lands. On April 25, 2023 the Minister of Lands, Samuel Abu Jinapor, ordered the Lands Commission to release the 3.81 acre land in question, allocated to the Information Services Department in 2002.

Stages of development by the encroacher on ISD land

The order was premised on the fact that the said land was allocated to the ISD and that per the certificate of allocation the ISD is precluded from passing any interest in the land to a third party, without a written consent of the Lands Commission.

The Minister also reminded the Lands Commission that Section 235 of the Lands Act 2020 (Act 1036) prohibits the transfer of any interest in a public land to a person or public body other than a user right.

In spite of these, the land in question is being developed at a faster rate without any restriction.

The said parcel of land near TV3, at Kanda, in Accra, was allocated to the ISD as a duty post for its Directors, with documentation from the same Lands Commission as far back as 2002.

The Chronicle has gathered that a portion of the said piece of land has been sold out to a businessman by the Lands Commission with a hurriedly prepared document to back the transaction at the expense of a proposed ISD project, part of which the private developer pulled down and a new block wall constructed to cut-off part of the ISD land and a new gate installed.

Following investigations by the Police, the private developer claims the land in dispute has been leased out to them by the office of the Greater Accra Lands Commission, even though the ISD has a certificate of Allocation issued by the Lands Commission as far back as November 2002.

The Nima Divisional Police, which is investigating a complaint lodged by the ISD to ensure that work on the land ceases, have also indicated that a representative of Blackgold AKVV Investment Limited on May 7, 2022 also lodged a complaint that it mounted a black gate on the said portion of land but the said gate had been removed by unknown persons.

In spite of the claims and counterclaims, the Lands Commission has acknowledged the issuance of a Certificate of allocation covering an area of 3.81 acres, situated at Kanda to the ISD.

Mr. Timothy Anyidoho, the Greater Regional Lands Officer has also informed the Nima Police, per his letter of July 12, 2022 that at the 61st meeting of the Greater Accra Lands Commission on March 10, 2022 the Commission considered and approved a lease dated April 29, 2022 covering an area of 0.41 acre to the said business man.

The Regional Lands Officer stating the status of ownership of both sites emphasised that the grant to the businessman “falls within the 3.81acres covered by the Certificate of Allocation to the Information Services Department”.

Even though both parties have been directed to stay away from the disputed piece of land while the police investigate the matter, development is still ongoing.


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