With the increasing rate of terrorism experienced by legitimate land and property owners from the hands of land guards in Ghana today, the Gazetted Sempe Mantse Nii Adote Obuor II has thrown a word of caution to land owners especially to regularize their property documents with the necessary authorities to prevent them from losing their lands.

The humble Sempe Mantse has blamed the increasing cases of fraud in land acquisition on the practice where Ghanaians throw money at people selling land, the way they would pay for tomatoes in the market.

According to him land purchasers should rather pay for land on instalment basis and complete the purchase only upon receipt of title to the land.

The issue of land ownership has become a subject of discussion following a series of demolition exercises carried out by local councils in parts of the capital, which have rendered hundreds of residents homeless.

Many land owners have been at war with the city authorities and the Metropolitan Assemblies for seeking mandamus to carry out demolition of their properties on the land, which they have acquired through fraud.

It has emerged that many people have purchased and paid huge sums of monies to Chief land guards who sell the land to them as if it is their own.

In the event of such demolitions, residents do produce documents to support their claims that they owned the lands on which they put up their homes but many of the documents have proven to be of dubious validity because the people who sold the land to them did not have title to the land in the first place, and are notable land guards.

Nii Adote Obuor said people must avoid the situation where they are taken to the bush, shown the land and they pay the cash amount to the supposed owners in the bush claiming to have acquired the lands.

He said, ?There is an imminent trouble and these people if they fail to regularise their documents with the rightful and allodia owners of the lands, they cannot survive it.?

He admonished persons interested in acquiring land to first determine the character of the land and ensure that the site plan has the signature and stamp of regional land surveyor of the area that authenticated the plan.

?The land could be stool land, family land, private individual land or state land,? he noted.

He said determining the character of the land helps the purchaser to identity which state agency or stool or family to pay money to in respect of the said acquired land.

The purchaser, he said, must then take a site plan which he noted must be verified by their own surveyor.

Nii Adote Obuor II also enumerated that it is important that Ghanaians avoid paying monies to officers at the Lands Commission on the purpose of cutting corners to get their documents processed, as these illegal processes can cost them later.

He noted that although there are some recalcitrant officers who employ dubious means to demand money from people before getting their documents processed, those who give out such monies do so at their own risk.

He also cautioned that prospective land purchasers must do thorough investigations about persons from whom they are buying land to establish whether the person has a registered interest in the land or title to ownership.

Nii Adote Obuor averred that it is not all people who are installed as chiefs are legitimate chiefs; ?anybody at all can call himself a chief. A chief must be recognised by the Regional House of Chiefs, National House of Chiefs and should be gazetted, according to the processes and procedure by which the chieftaincy act was established.?

He also warned land guards who are deceiving people and selling off peoples? lands by foul means to desist from the act as the laws of the state will catch up with them very soon.




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