Nii O.T. Ankrah, a spokesperson of the Osu Stool, said on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofo Morning Show that the forest “perfectly” belongs to the Osu Stool but it was handed over to the State for the construction of Achimota Senior High School and subsequently, its extension.
He explained, “the Owoo family is from Ga Mashie; they cannot come from Ga Mashie and come into the bosom of someone’s land and say that land belongs to them.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government have largely been accused on social media that they intend to sell portions of the Achimota forest reserve.
A document from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, making reference to an Executive Instrument, stated that the Achimota Forest Reserve is to no longer be regarded as a forest reserve.
“An Executive Instrument (E.I.) 144 gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister Samuel Abdulai Jinapor indicates that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve.
“The President’s action was in accordance with Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157) which gives him the authority to declare that particular land is no longer required as a forest reserve,” portions of the purported E.I. read.
But, Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister, Lands and Natural Resources, dismissing these accusations at a press conference on Tuesday, said the Executive Instrument, E.I. 144, pertained to 361 acres of peripherals of the Achimota forest that the government is returning to its custodial owners, identified as the Owoo family because the land was not being used for its intended purpose, which included the extension of the Achimota School.
Responding to this, Nii O.T. Ankrah said, “the land first belongs to the State – so Ga Mashie – La – Osu – [then] the state. Now when it moves to the State, it comes to the family; that’s the Weku, the Wei then when it comes to the family, it comes to the individual…so if it is not for Gbese then how did it come to Owoo Family?
“We have a problem with where the government is sending the land to…So, the Gbese family would be surprised to learn that it [the land] has been given to the Owoo Family…
“Our concern is that if the government says they are releasing the land then it should go to the rightful owners, the 136 acres should go to the rightful owners…,” he emphasized.
The Spokesperson of the Osu Stool buttressed his points with legal suits pursued by a former Osu Chief, Nii Akonortei.
Proving that the Osu Stool is the real custodian of the Achimota lands, Nii O.T. Ankrah noted, “…because as of July 28, 2011, Suit SOL/21/2020 Nii Akonortei vs Lands Commission on the release of 172 acres of Achimota Forest then in 2014 Nii Akornotei vs Lands Commission on the release of the same 172.68 acres which was granted. There were appeals which were all dismissed.”