It is obvious that some persons are making mischievous comments to gain political points relating to the supposed will of the late Former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John), Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, has said.
He said it is only after investigations that people can make the conclusions on the matter.
Speaking on the New Day show on TV3, Tuesday May 24, he said “It is unbelievable the narrative, unless of course you can demonstrate that the portion of the land that Sir John is purported to have willed to beneficiaries in his will, is part of the Forest as preserved. What is the issue? Nobody has so far been able to confirm if it is part of the land that was given to the Owoo Family for which Sir John disposed parts of.
“Then we need to begin to ask and whether he made those acquisition from the Owoo Family and that, indeed, government beyond those parts that were released also appropriated some to itself and some disposals thereof. If there is no investigations, how are we going to establish that?
“Yet for political mischief, you go on social media, you read all sort of things, people drawing their own conclusions and making comments as if to say by reason of the fact that he was Head of the Forestry Commission any purported disposal constitute parts of the forest.”
A supposed will of Sir John which is currently in circulation in a section of the Ghanaian media indicated that the late Forer General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) owned portions of the forest reserve and accordingly bequeathed them to his relatives.
On Monday May 23, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources indicated that it had taken a serious exception to some documents making rounds on social media and purportedly said to be the will of Sir John.
The documents lists some individual relatives of Mr Owusu Afriyie’s to be allocated some portions of the Achimota Forest, which has become a topical issue the past days as a result of an Executive Instrument signed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuf-Addo to declassify portions.
“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,” point g. of the will of the late public official, popularly known as Sir John, stated as captured on social media.
But the Ministry says it will probe this.
“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,” a statement issued on Sunday, May 22 by the Ministry said.
“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.”