The Lands Commission is taking on the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime to provide details on its recent survey that named the commission as the most corrupt public institution in Ghana.
The data showed the top bribe-taking institutions in the country with the Lands Commission officers collecting the biggest bribes among public officials in Ghana.
But the Executive Secretary of the Commission, James Dadson, says the people taking the bribes are not staff of the commission.
According to him, most people fall prey to persons who act as intermediaries between the commission’s staff and the customers leading to the solicitation of large funds from them.
This he says is what has culminated into the negative reputation of the commission.
“We are not defending our staff because we’re not angels in that office. All that we want is that if some staff have been involved in these unacceptable practices, let us know because we also have our own sanctions.
“Every staff in the office is properly identified and so if somebody is out there soliciting and the person is not a staff and you go and transact with that person, the person takes money from you, then these researchers come and they interview you ‘oh I went to Lands and somebody took my money’ and it’s all about lands commission.
“As to who they spoke to, whether the person is an official of the office, whether the person is a goro boy or an estate agent, it’s very difficult for us to determine. And we think that they have to take a second look at that approach,” he said.
He further stressed that while the Lands Commission is a human institution and thus prone to certain vices, he is convinced the majority of bribes being taken on the premises are not done by staff of the commission.
“But I want to say that a lot of these things that are going on don’t directly involve our staff. They involve people who have made it their business, they go out there, they’re in the chiefs’ premises facilitating sale or purchase of land and then they will continue and say ‘Oh I will take it and go and register it for you.’ So they’re all over the place.”
Meanwhile, he says not much can be done to restrict the activities of goro boys at the premises of the Lands Commission as it is a public office.