The Chief Justice (CJ), Mrs. Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has revoked her interest in a plot of land offered her at the Airport Residential Area and demands a refund of GH¢20,136.00, being the cost of the said property, from the Lands Commission.
The revocation was informed by the now cacophonous political utterances about the transactions underpinning the acquisitions by a cross-section of Ghanaians. “I deem it expedient to relinquish my interest in the land as at now, in view of the persistent public agitation with regard to the said property,” she stated in a correspondence to the Greater Accra Regional Lands Officer.
DAILY GUIDE stumbled upon a correspondence on the subject, dated 9th February, 2009 and addressed to the Greater Accra Regional Lands Officer, in which she revoked her interest in Plot No. 2 Airport Residential Area (Hostel Site). She however added that “I would be happy if it is re-allocated to me when all the issues regarding the said land have been settled.”
Tracing the genesis of her acquisition, the CJ, according to the correspondence to the Regional Lands Officer, was offered the land in replacement of Plot No. 37 Martey Tsuru Residential Area which was allocated to her earlier in 2007, for which full payment was made.
The withdrawal of the offer of Plot No. 2 was the result of a re-zoning of the whole site by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, following the interest shown by the Foreign Affairs Ministry to use the place for its offices.
The issue of government lands sold to public officials, individuals and corporate entities by successive governments, spanning from the Nkrumah to Kufuor regimes, has assumed a scathing political and tribal undertones in the past few months.
It would be recalled that the National Security Co-ordinator, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, announced his intention to go after purchasers of such lands, thereby politicizing the subject and attracting a flurry of abrasive remarks from both sides of the political divide in the country.
The reason behind the CJ’s action is best gleaned from a portion of her correspondence to the regional lands officer which reads, “In order to protect the high office of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, I would like to relinquish my interest in the plot of land under reference.”
In a preceding paragraph, she stated, “I have served this nation conscientiously for the past thirty-eight years as a public servant. About five years ago, I applied for the first time in my capacity as a public officer to be allocated a government land. I did not acquire the subject matter illegally or through some other unorthodox means.”
Challenging the media rumours that suggested malfeasance in the transaction, she noted that “this is the only piece of land that I have acquired from the Lands Commission, for which reason I have supplied my full maiden name to enable the facts stated to be verified”.
Checks conducted by DAILY GUIDE suggest that the CJ, following the replacement of Plot No. 37 Martey Tsuru Residential Area with Plot No. 2 Airport Residential Area, which was allocated earlier but revoked, paid GH¢1,440 as premium, GH¢50 for demarcation, surveying and pillaring fees, GH¢50 as lease preparation fee and an amount of GH¢36 as ground rent.
She also paid in separate banker’s draft an amount of GH¢13,560 as premium and five GH¢5,000 as development charge.
The said land was demarcated by the Lands Commission for residential purposes only and for a lease period of 99 years. It is unknown how the National Security Co-ordinator intends to prosecute his project of interrogating the government land acquisition, especially since it spans the Nkrumah to NPP regimes. NDC pressure group Media Analysts and Committee for Joint Action (CJA) have jumped into the fray, demanding that a presidential commission be set up to interrogate the acquisitions.
Beneficiaries of the government lands include President John Evans Atta Mills, Plot 11, Ofankor, Letsu Michael Kwasi, Plot No. 7, Prof Kofi Awonoor, Peter Nanfuri, Edward Kojo Salia, Martin Amidu, Dr. Kobla Gbedemah, Mark Woyongo, Mrs. Maureen Adadevoh, Roland Setsaafa Agbenotor, Alfred Ayivor, James T. Addico, George Nikoi Kotey, Ridwan Brimah and Dr. Assibi A. Amidu.
Others are Kpodo Seth Kwaku, Kublenu Herbert B., Kassab A. Aheel, Koranteng Edmond Kwadwo, Kaku Kyiamah, Maj. Mohadini Yahaya, Alhaji Afatogma Abdullah, Group Capt Kilba, previously of the Air Force Station Accra and Miss Salamatu Alhassan of the Ghana Police Service.
Source: Daily Guide