The Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council in the Eastern has advised the public, particularly estate developers, to strictly adhere to established and appropriate customary procedures in acquiring land in Akyem Abuakwa.
A statement issued by the traditional council said all lands in Akyem Abuakwa, except those acquired by the state through compulsory acquisition, remain stool lands, and the Okyenhene is the “immemorial allodial owner of all stool lands” in Akyem Abuakwa.
In effect, there can no valid alienation of any piece or portion of Akyem Abuakwa Stool lands without his consent and concurrence.
The statement was in direct response to recent publications in the media in which the Chief Executive Officer of Koans Building Solutions Company Limited, Kofi Anokye, accused the Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin of double land sales. Mr Anokye had claimed that stool lands sold to him were being resold to other estate developers.
The traditional council, in the press statement issued signed by the Akyem Abuakwa State Secretary, D. M. Ofori-Atta, said it had found it necessary to respond to the issues raised by Mr Anokye concerning lands he claimed to have acquired around Nsawam Adoagyiri, Pampanso and Kyekyewere from Quansah Mankata families of Accra.
The statement added that despite several requests, the Quansah and Mankata families had failed to produce evidence of ownership and acquisition. It further added that while appearing before the Ofori Panin Fie, the family “had the audacity with the complicity of Mr Anokye to present fictitious documents as purported proof of ownership”.
“We believe Kofi Anokye has compromised certain officials of the Land Commission, and had obtained land title certificates at the blind side of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council. The Ofori Panin Fie does not wish to believe that Kofi Anokye had combined with certain quarters of the immediate past administration for his scheme and to ensure payments from GIMPA in violation of established customary protocols and laws,” it said.
“Upon the above, Ofori Panin Fie wants to make the following clarifications, that the system of family ownership of land is unknown to Akyem Abuakwa customs and usages. The right of families is limited to usufructuary interest and not the right of alienation,” the statement added.
The Ofori Panin Fie says it finds it appropriate to make the following demands: “That the Lands Commission takes a critical review of the irregularities at its secretariat concerning fake documents acquired by unscrupulous persons and take the necessary actions to restore its integrity and amend its records about the lands unlawfully acquired in Akyem Abuakwa.
“That all persons dealing with Mr. Kofi Anokye about the lands mentioned supra do so at their own risk. That the police should take the necessary action to prevent Mr Anokye from defrauding the public and to halt him from trespassing on Akyem Abuakwa lands,” it added.
The statement further stressed that the Okyenhene “expresses seriousness” about this matter as an example of the growing menace of land theft for which “the Eastern portion of Akyem Abuakwa has become a unique and ugly spectacle due to the open-ended expansion of Accra”.