Govt Probes Sir John’s Achimota Forest Gift

The late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, aka Sir John

THE MINISTRY of Lands and Natural Resources has indicated it will investigate the alleged inclusion of Achimota Forest lands in the will of the late Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, aka Sir John.

According to a statement issued over the weekend, the ministry mentioned it takes “a very serious view of the allegations.”

“The attention of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been drawn to a document making the rounds on social media, which alleges that the late former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, had included portions of the Achimota Forest in his will, and given out same to individuals who are said to be related to him.

“The ministry takes a very serious view of the allegations and has requested for all documents relating to the lands in question, as part of an initial inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the claims. Considering that the issues that form the basis of the allegations predate the tenure of the current Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, it is important that he is seized with the full facts to enable him take appropriate action, if, indeed, there is any merit in the claims.

“The ministry assures the general public and the good people of Ghana that it will ensure that the national interest is protected at all times, especially in matters pertaining to the Achimota Forest,” part of the statement read.

A new court document has unraveled that Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie willed some portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to some members of his family.

According to the will, the late politician bequeathed four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest to his relatives.

“I give my land situate at the Achimota Forest in the name of Jakaypro Limited and measuring 5.541 acres to the following persons forever – Yaw Amoateng Afriyie  (1 acre), Eva Akua Afriyie (1 acre), Ivy Akua Afriyie (1 acre), Elizabeth Asare Boateng aka Mother (1 acre), Michael Owusu (1.541 acres),” page four of the will indicates.

It continues on page five,  “I give my land also situate at the Achimota Forest in the name of Fasoh Limited and measuring 0.987acres to my nephews Michael Owusu, Yaw Boadu and Kwabena Amoateng forever.”

It further indicates on the same page that, “I jointly own a piece of land at Achimota Forest with Charles Owusu. Upon my demise, my portion of the said land should be given to Ruth Korkor Odonkor.”

Furthermore, it says, “I give my portion of land that I jointly own at the Achimota Forest in the name of DML Limited to Elizabeth Asare Boateng who at the time of making this will is domiciled in the USA forever.”

The late Forestry Commission head, who was New Patriotic Party (NPP) General Secretary, also indicated in the will that he owned land at the Ramsar area in Sakumono in Accra.

The will continues, “I give my land situate at the Ramsar area at Sakumono in the Greater Accra Region and measuring 5.07 acres to my sisters Abena Saah and her children, Comfort Amoateng and her children, Abena Konadu and Juliet Akua Arko and her children on equal share basis forever.”

The Forestry Commission has published that the Wetland Management (Ramsar Sites) Regulations 1999 covered the Sakumono Ramsar Site as part of the protected wetlands in Ghana.

Sir John’s will was drafted on May 21, 2020, less than two months before his death, and it mentions Charles Owusu and Nana Boakye Acheampong as executors.

It further names houses, lands, Kejetia Market stalls, gold production investments and money in local and foreign banks as the properties to be distributed among the persons named in the will.

Other properties include fuel stations, 13 private vehicles and 10 fuel tankers, and five pump action guns.

Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie died on July 1, 2020, of COVID-19-related complications while receiving treatment at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.