Traditional rulers and their agents who engage in multiple sales of land will face prosecution, the Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio has warned.
The law, he added, will further deal uncompromisingly with any personnel of the Lands Commission who will facilitate the fictitious sale of land as well as lands guards whose activities threaten the lives of the people.
Mr Owusu-Bio gave the warning when he inaugurated the reconstituted 19-member Bono Regional Lands Commission in Sunyani.
Justice Patrick Bayeh performing the swearing-in
He expressed disgust at the indiscriminate sale of land without regard to approved planning schemes by agents claiming to be acting on the instruction of the traditional authorities.
“The illicit activities of land guards, boundary disputes, unauthorised developments, illegal mining as well as encroachment on waterways, roads and other opened spaces keep hindering the socio-economic development of this region,” he stated.
Mr Owusu-Bio explained that land has played a very vital role in the socio-economic development of the country, hence the need for members of the commission to be abreast with all the relevant laws and the functions of the commission to enable them to discharge their duties expeditiously.
19-member Bono Regional Lands Commission in Sunyani
He said the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is finalising modalities for the release of all government-vested lands in the Bono Region to their rightful owners, adding “the ministry has set up a committee at the national level that will collaborate with the Lands Commission at the regional levels and facilitate the release of those lands to their owners”.
The Deputy Minister responsible for Lands and Forestry, therefore, called on affected land owners to exercise restraint as the committee in collaboration with the various regional lands commissions looked into and facilitated the release of the lands to them.
A Supervising High Court Judge in Sunyani, Justice Patrick Bayeh, later sworn the 19-member commission, chaired by Isaac Kwadwo Amankwaah.
On behalf of the reconstituted 19-member Bono Regional Lands Commission, Mr Amankwaah thanked the government for the opportunity given to them to serve on the commission.
He pledged their commitment to work hard in order to minimise land disputes within the Bono Region.