Benjamin Arthur —  Acting Executive Secretary, Lands Commission
Benjamin Arthur — Acting Executive Secretary, Lands Commission

Lands Commission unaware of Speaker’s bungalow sale

The Lands Commission has denied knowledge of a purported sale of the official residence of the Speaker of Parliament to a private developer.

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At the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum at the Alisa Hotel in Accra yesterday, the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin,  revealed that his official bungalow was almost sold off to a private developer.

He stated that the property had been given to a private developer without his prior notice.

Though he did not name the private developer or who had made the transfer, Mr Bagbin said the property would have been re-registered to the private developers had the Lands Commission not identified the building.

“Many of you don’t know that even the residence of the Speaker was almost sold to a private developer.

 Actually it was given out, it was when they went to register that Land’s Commission identified that it is the residence of the Speaker.

Luckily, I was inside so it was safe,” he said.

However, in a statement signed by the acting Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Benjamin Arthur, and issued in Accra yesterday, the Commission said it was “unaware of any purported sale of the Rt Hon. Speaker of Parliament’s official residence to a private developer”.

Media reports

Clarifying the issue, the Lands Commission said records available to it indicated that the land in question was acquired in 1920 by a Certificate of Title, dated  June 7, 1920, for government services.

It added that since 2003, the land had always been used as the official residence of the Speaker of Parliament.  

“By an application dated November 15, 2022, and numbered PS/LS/002/12/22, the Parliamentary Service applied for a Certificate of Allocation to regularise their occupation of the land, which measures approximately 1.66 acres.

“At its 64th Regular Meeting held on  December 22, 2022, the Regional Lands Commission approved the application after all statutory processes, including planning and approval from the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly, had been duly concluded,” the statement said.

Allocation

It added that on February 14, 2023, the Lands Commission made an offer of allocation to the Parliamentary Service.

The Parliamentary Service, it said, accepted the offer and after paying the requisite fees, a Certificate of Allocation dated April 28, 2023, was issued to the Parliamentary Service.  

“The Commission wishes to reiterate its commitment to the prudent and efficient management of public lands in the national interest, and promote effective land administration that is anchored on the highest standards of integrity, transparency and candour,” the statement added. 

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