Akufo-Addo does not have legal backing to declassify Achimota Forest – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has questioned the legal basis behind the declassification of some parts of the Achimota Forest by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

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According to them, the President has no legal backing to declassify the forest.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the government should open a public enquiry on the declassification.

Haruna Iddrisu questioned decision by the government to declassify the reserve through E.I 144 arguing the President does not have the legal backing to undertake such exercise.

“Mr. Speaker, there is the news of declassification of Achimota forest and public officers and politicians grabbing lands in the name of the republic. Without any hesitation this must be treated as an urgent matter the President should open public inquiry into the declassification of the Achimota and let the public know who bought what and how much.”

“We need to appreciate and based on the reliance on the Executive Instrument 144 the Forest Act of 1927 must remind the President and his leadership that they should go and look at the land use and special planning of land ACT 926 retooling and reclassification the mandate was not given to the President,” he disclosed.”

The Achimota Forest declassification and the subsequent expose that the former CEO of the Forestry Commission Sir John has willed portions of the forest to his relatives have dominated news headlines in the past few days.

In a recent statement, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor said the lands acquired by Sir John are void.

I, as Minister for Lands & Natural Resources, have directed the Lands and Forestry Commission to deem any ownership of lands, both in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie as void,” the Minister said in a statement issued on Tuesday, May 24.

Mr. Abu Jinapor opined that the lands will continue to be property of the state.

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