The Achimota forest; located in Achimota, in the Greater Accra Region, is a Protected nature area; with paths between forested enclosures for some wildlife animals like antelope, ostriches and lions.
The Forest became the trending topic in the news, following recent allegations, that the Government and some officials of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are taking over portions of the land.
The Achimota Forest lands, as we all know, belongs to one family called the Owoo family, from Osu, in the greater Accra Region; but the new information coming out, has revealed that, the current Owoo family, which is claiming ownership of portions of the Achimota Forest Land is a “scam”.
This revelation was made by a member of the Osu stool, Nii Odoi Kwao II.
According to the new story, by Nii Odoi Kwao II, there is no such family name as Owoo family, existing in Osu, and that, if the government wants to release portions of the Achimota Forest lands to alludial owners, then that should have to be done tot the people of Osu and not the Owoo family.
Speaking on JoyNews, Nii Odoi Kwao II revealed that, “[the Owoo family name]…is a scam because Owoo family does not exist in Osu. That is number one; and they are saying that the Owoo family petitioned them. I am telling you there are thousands and thousands of petitions that the Accra people have made to the government”.
He again said that,“We are saying that, okay fine we cannot fight government, if government wants to release lands, and they are sure they are releasing the lands, it is not to the Owoo family, it should be to the people of Osu”.
According to him, “if today there is an Owoo family claiming the Achimota Forest lands, then it is fraud. We want to go to court. We will be going to court, even though we have some reservations, and then we will petition the government that fine, if they want to release the land, we are all for it”.
The Osu Stool Member further stated that, “Nii Owoo himself died in 1867 and he had no child at the time of his death, so nobody succeeded him. Nii Owoo has nothing, he joined with the Gbese people. So when this acquisition came in 1921 Nii Owoo’s sisters children constituted themselves into a new Nii Owoo family and came for the land. Now when they came, they came on the ticket of the Gbese Mantse because it was the Gbese Mantse who gave him a place as a refugee to live, and that place includes part of the Achimota Forest”.
Meanwhile, the former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources; Honorable Inusah Fuseini, has also revealed earlier, that the Owoo family, who are the allodial owners of the Achimota Forest Lands, was duly compensated, by the British colonial government, for the land.
Honorable Fuseini also revealed that, “compensation was paid, £4000 pounds then in 1951, 1957…I am aware that the colonial government paid four thousand pounds, for the land and that, was a huge amount of money in 1951”.
Inusah Fuseini, who was also the former MP for Tamale Central made these revelations whiles speaking on JoyNews.
The former MP again noted that, “With the greatest respect to the Owoo family, they have always maintained that they are not entitled to a dime. That’s why in my letter, I only maintained that it was only on compassionate grounds with the realization and acknowledgment of the fact that they were the allodial owners of the land”.
According to him, “A study was done and then we all agreed, including the Owoo family that, that was what they were entitled to. There was a ceremony to release that part to them, that took place in the forest itself. I was there, the Wulomei was there, the Owoo family was there, and my deputy and everybody were there…about ninety to hundred acres thereabouts was released to them”.
Do you believe the NPP Government is truly looting the Achimota forest lands as alleged?