The Lands Commission has justified a demolition exercise at Mpehuasem in the Ayawaso West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.

According to the outfit, in accordance with Article 258(1) of the 1992 Constitution and section 5 of the Lands Commission Act, 2008 (Act 767), the land has been under its management since it was acquired in 1974.

It argues no person, other than the Commission has the right to make valid grants of the lands retained by government under E.I. 16 of 2009.

The Commission’s comment comes on the back of a statement from the Mantse of Mpehuasem, Nii Torgor Obodai Ampao VI which condemned the demolition.

The statement, dated April 16, 2022, according to the Lands Commission, bemoaned the use and abuse of state power causing a threat of danger and peace in the community.

But the Commission in a rebuttal has admitted it previously issued public notices alerting prospective developers that the said land is state land, managed by the Lands Commission, and cannot be alienated by any stool, clan, family or individual.

To them, any such grant is unlawful, void and confers no title on the grantee of the land.

Therefore, to ensure the orderly development of the area, including the need to ensure a conducive atmosphere for academic work for both the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and the Accra College of Education, the Spatial Planning Committee of the assembly, on 22nd June 2021, approved a local plan for the development of the place.

“To pave way for the redevelopment of the land in accordance with the approved local plan, the Commission under the auspices of the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources has engaged the services of Aynok Holdings Limited with the assistance of the Ghana Police Service to recover the encroached portions of the land and protect the site from further encroachment,” portions of the statement read.

It added “In accordance with the highest standards of transparency, the Commission, on 16th April 2022, issued a public notice, notifying occupants of the said area of the appointment of Aynok Holdings Limited and its intention to clear the area for the redevelopment of the land.

“It is the expectation of the Commission that any person who claims to have an interest in any part of the land will approach the Commission for verification.”

Meanwhile, the Commission has assured the general public that as the manager of public lands, it will continue to act in the interest of the state to protect all public lands.

“Any person who claims to have an interest in any part of the Mpehuasem public land should approach the Commission with his/her documents,” it urged.

Read the Lands Commission’s full statement below: