The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has resolved to conduct investigations into the acquisition of several acres of alleged state lands situated in the Achimota Forest and Ramsar sites in Sakumono by former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, and other persons.
In a press release dated 26 May, 2022, the Office of the Special Prosecutor urged the ministry of land s and natural resources to corporate fully with the process.
The Special Prosecutor’s decision is against the backdrop of Anti-corruption campaign group, Corruption Watch Ghana, which petitioned the Special Prosecutor (SP), to probe the acquisition the Achimota Forest and Ramsar sites in Sakumono by three artificial persons and two natural persons, including former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission.
In a statement issued on Tuesday 24 May 2022, the anti-corruption group noted: “It is worth emphasising that the deceased was a public officer and a politically exposed person per the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), when he served as the CEO of the Forestry Commission and singularly or jointly allegedly acquired the said lands with other natural and artificial persons during the period he was the CEO of the said Commission. One such person was Charles Owusu, also a public officer, and a politically exposed person.
“Furthermore, Corruption Watch draws inspiration from Section 179C of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), which makes it an offence for a person to use public office for profit. We note that the offence is committed by both the person who holds public office who dishonestly abuses the office for private gain or benefit and other persons who collaborate with the public officer to so abuse the office.”
The group is, therefore, asking the SP to investigate “whether the Republic of Ghana owned the said lands at the time of their alleged acquisition by Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Jakaypros Limited, Fasoh Limited, DML Limited, and Charles Owusu; the circumstances of the alleged acquisition; the beneficial owners of the companies implicated in this transaction and compliance with the reporting requirements of such persons where they are PEPs under sections 13, 35, and 126 of the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992),” among other things.