- The Osu Traditional Council has contested a claim by the government that the Owoo family of Osu are the custodians of the Achimota lands
- The Council said the Owoo family could not be owners because they don't come from Osu, which is the rightful owner of the lands
- A spokesperson for the Osu Stool has admonished the government to give the 136 acres of the peripheral land of the Achimota Forest Reserve to the rightful owners
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The Osu Traditional Council said the Owoo family cannot be the rightful owners of the vast lands that were acquired in the 1920s to establish the Achimota Forest Reserve.
The traditional council is contesting the release of 136 acres of peripheral portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to them.
According to a report published by Ghanaweb, a spokesperson of the Osu Stool, Nii O.T. Ankrah, said on Angel FM that the forest “perfectly” belongs to the Osu Stool. He claimed that the stool handed over the land to the state for the construction of Achimota Senior High School and subsequently, its extension.
“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," the Ghanaweb report quoted the spokesperson.
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He said the Osu Traditional Council is worried that large acres of land would be handed to the wrong 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 admonished.
Providing evidence to back his claim that the Osu Stool is the rightful custodian of the Achimota lands, Nii O.T. Ankrah said:
“...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.”
A leaked document of an Executive Instrument showing that the government has since May 1, 2022, removed the reserve status on portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve stirred a barrage of critical reactions from Ghanaians.
The document was first interpreted as an attempt by the current government to sell portions of the reserve for commercial development. However, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Abu Jinapor, swiftly denied the claim.
The government explained that portions of the reserve had been returned to the Owoo Family after persistent petitions and that the removal of the reserve status was to enable the family to develop it.
Achimota Forest: Owoo Family deny Land Was Released To Them In 2016
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported in related story that the Owoo Family has denied receiving land in 2016.
Breaking their silence in a statement, the family said they are unhappy about the direction of the public discourse on the alleged declassification of the Achimota Forest Reserve by an Executive Instrument (EI).
According to a report by Joy News, the principal elders of the family have issued a statement on Thursday, May 19, 2022, to lament that a grave historical injustice has been done to them.