The founder and leader of Ebenezer Miracle Worship Center, Reverend Ebenezer Adarkwah Yiadom, popularly known as Opambour, has called for a holistic investigation into the circumstance under which the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John came to own some parts of the Achimota Forest Lands.
According to Opambour, there is no dispute in the fact that the Achimota Forest Land is a property of the state. He notes that for such a state asset to be transferred into the name of an individual, it will take the authorisation of some officials who must be made to answer questions.
“Which commission gave him the land for him to be able to Will it out? You can’t just will Ghana’s asset to your children. Something must have happened to prove his ownership of the land. So how was he authorised to own the land? They all have to be arrested. They are all thieves, whoever authorized it. As for the deceased, he is already gone. But those living must answer how they supervised the transfer of state property to an individual?” he stated while speaking on the matter on his Prophet 1 television station.
The last Will of Sir John who until his demise in 2020 was Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission has recently been in the news. Details of the Will which has been published in the media show that Sir John Willed some lands he owned in the Achimota Forest to members of his family.
However various concerns have been raised about the fact that the Achimota Forest is a state property which holds ecological importance.
Wading into the conversation, Opambour who was livid about the development said, “the issue is that, the land is a property of Ghana and so if it happens that he has willed it to his children then the matter should not be taken by Ghanaians lightly. It has to be investigated. There are bigger issues beneath the matter. Because if he is capable of Willing such a big state property to his family, it means he is not in this alone. This means we must endeavour to trace Ghana’s assets wherever they may be, some have ended up in the wrong places.”
He went on to question the circumstances under which the supposed lands became a property of Sir John while insisting that officials of the state institutions who may have overseen the transfer of the lands into Sir John’s name are made to answer.
“What happened when he was alive to give him the opportunity to Will state assets to his family or children? The family can come up with a document to prove that the land belongs to their relative but the question is who helped him to acquire such a document? Who signed for the transfer of the land from the state into his name?
“All those people should be looked for to answer. If he claims the land is his and he has Willed it, it not possible for him to do that alone. He must have had collaboration. Who are the ones who authorized the transfer of Ghana’s land into his name? We must investigate the documents in the possession of the family and question those who authorized it. That is why I am insisting that this proves a lot of state assets have wrongly been appropriated,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has announced that it has no records that show that the late Sir John owned any part of the Achimota Forest Lands. The ministry has announced further investigations into the matter.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor also says it is also investigating the matter concerning Sir John’s supposed ownership of the Achimota Forest Lands.