Nitiwul’s Claims to ‘Military Land’ Inaccurate – Inusah Fuseini
A former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources under the National Democratic Congress [NDC], administration, Inusah Fuseini, who also owns a property on a supposed military land, has said the lands were no longer in the custody of the military when they were sold out.
According to him, some politicians who served under the Kufuor administration, also own properties in the same area, and that the land was given back to original owners who in turn sold them out.
His revelation follows claims by Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul, that former President John Dramani Mahama’s residence on a military land in Accra is inappropriate, and that he must vacate the area.
Mr. Nitiwul had further indicated that, top officials of the erstwhile NDC administration sold the lands belonging to the Ghana Armed Forces to cronies.
“Top officials who are supposed to have provided and covered the Armed Forces, were now writing to the Armed Forces to say that if you have no money, then release the lands to the owners. Not knowing they were buying the lands themselves. How can you do this? I want to advise the former President that he should look for a place and leave…It is not good for him because he was a President. He should not live there. I am not satisfied with the state of that land, and I will advise the former President to leave that place because it is not good. He should have protected the Armed Forces, but today if you are living in that area you are giving others the impetus to do what they are doing and it is not good for us.”
“I am talking about the former President, John Mahama. I will say no more, but I am very disturbed about this. It is happening in Tamale, it is happening in Takoradi and Lands Commission is colluding to do that. People in Lands Commission were selling Armed Forces lands. Not under this watch, that cannot happen any longer, and anybody who decides to encroach on Armed Forces lands should leave. It is not in your interest. I am sorry; but that is the truth that we did not manage the Armed Forces lands very well,” Mr. Nitiwul stated.
But speaking on Eyewitness News, Inusah Fuseini said there are members of the Kufuor administration and current Members of Parliament who have properties in the area as well, saying “I also know that other members of the Kufuor administration, members presently in Parliament and out of Parliament who have properties in that area.”
He however said the Minister appears to have gotten wrong information on the state of affairs regarding the land in question, saying the original owners won a court case and were given back the land, which they sold out because the Ghana Armed Forces could not pay for it, and so technically the land did not belong to the military.
He said he acquired his land in the year 2002, and developed the land and entered into his premises in 2006.
“There are several properties including churches and even Zenith College is on that military land. I don’t know what my brother is talking about. If he’s talking about a different land, then he should take time to understand the circumstances under which the lands were given. The land went back to the original owners and they set up a trust, the La Dadekotopn Trust to manage the land, so anyone who wanted to acquire land went to the trust, and most of the people with lands in that area have land title certificates.”
Asked whether he was aware former President Mahama owned a property sited on that military land, Mr. Fuseini said: “I am aware of a building which is close to my house. That building allegedly belongs to former President. And even if it was that building he’s talking about, it was built long before the NDC came to power let alone John Mahama becoming President. My land was acquired around 2002, I developed it and entered into it in 2006.”
Investigate sale of army lands – Inusah
Mr. Fuseini also called for investigations into the sale of lands under successive governments, saying “I will advise my brother the Minister of Defence to tone down and use cool heads to manage the problem he is talking about. Such discharges will not solve the problem that he is talking about… He should take time to investigate the circumstances of the release of the land.”
Mahama doesn’t own military land; Nitiwul is ‘reckless’ – Mogtari
Meanwhile, former President John Dramani Mahama’s aide, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, has described as irresponsible and reckless claims by Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, that the land on which the former president’s residence is sited, belongs to the Ghana Armed Forces.
In a strongly-worded statement which was released in the wake of the Minister’s comments, Joyce Bawah Mogtari stated emphatically that the former President had not taken possession of any land owned by the military.
The statement added that the property in which the former first family currently resides has been at the site for years.
“We presume that the minister’s irresponsible claim is in respect of the current residence of the former first family. President Mahama has not appropriated or acquired any land or property belonging to the military and which he is currently occupying.”
“President Mahama has not appropriated or acquired any land or property belonging to the military and which he is currently occupying”, Joyce Mogtari stated.
“This Office is appalled at the minister’s unfounded accusation because any serious Defence Minister, with the Military Intelligence apparatus under him would know that President Mahama has no claim to the ownership of the land of the property in which he resides,” the statement added.
The statement further clarified that, “the former president and his family as is commonly known, currently resides in a residential estate developed by a private real estate development company. The estate has been in existence for several years and the former first family lives peacefully with several Ghanaian and expatriate neighbours.”