The Lands Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has requested the presence of some top officials of the Lands Commission to obtain first-hand information on the attempted sale of Speaker Bagbin’s residence in Cantonments to a private developer.
Speaker Alban Bagbin, while at the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum on Monday, disclosed that his residence was almost sold to a private developer.
He revealed that the attempt to sell came to light when the developer sought to register the land at the Lands Commission.
“Many of you don’t know that even the residence of the Speaker was almost sold to the private sector. Actually, it was given out. It was when they went to register that the Lands Commission identified that that was the residence of the Speaker. Luckily, I was inside, so it was saved,” he stated.
However, some tabloids in their reportage have asserted that the Speaker’s residence was indeed sold.
The Lands Commission, in response, has denied that any such transaction occurred.
In a press statement dated November 20 and signed by Acting Executive Director, Benjamin Arthur, the Commission explained that the land in question was acquired in 1920 by a Certificate of Title, dated 7th June, 1920 for Government services.
Since 2003, the land has always been used as the official residence of the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament.
By an application dated 15th November, 2022, and numbered PS/LS/002/12/22, Parliamentary Service applied for a Certificate of Allocation to regularise their occupation of the land, which measures approximately 1.66 acres.
At its sixty-fourth (64th) Regular Meeting held on 22nd December, 2022, the Regional Lands Commission approved the application after all statutory processes, including planning approval from the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly, had been duly concluded.
On 14th February, 2023, the Lands Commission said it made an offer of allocation to Parliamentary Service.
“Parliamentary Service accepted the offer, and after paying the requisite fees, a Certificate of Allocation, dated 28th April, 2023 was issued to Parliamentary Service,” the statement added.
The Lands Commission therefore noted that it is “unaware of any purported sale of the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament’s official residence to a private developer”.
The Commission has reiterated 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.