The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, has shot down portions of the Will of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the Late Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, that sought to give certain properties in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site to certain beneficiaries.
It will be recalled that on Sunday, May 22, 2022, portions of the Last Will and Testament of the Late Sir John surfaced on social media. In the said Will, the former CEO of the Forestry Commission had willed some lands in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site to certain persons named in the Will. In a Statement issued that very day, the Ministry said it took a very serious view of the allegations, and has requested for all documents relating to the lands in question to ascertain the veracity of the claims.
In another Statement issued on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, however, the Minister said “further checks at the Lands and Forestry Commissions, the repositories of the records of the lands in question, show no record of ownership of the lands at Achimota Forest or the Sakumono Ramsar Site by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.”
Mr. Jinapor said he had directed the Lands and Forestry Commissions to deem any ownership of lands in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site by Sir John as void and to take the appropriate actions accordingly. “For the avoidance of doubt, the bequeathing of the aforesaid lands, if established, will not pass any interest/title to the named beneficiaries in the alleged Will,” the Statement added.
The Minister said the lands in question will remain public lands, whether they are affected by the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (E.I. 144) or not. He added that Government will act on any improper acquisition of any Public Lands regardless of how it was acquired, both now and in the past.