The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has provided clarification regarding the widespread coverage that exposed the alleged sale of the official residence for Ghana’s Speakers of Parliament in Cantonments, Accra, while he was still residing there.
This information was initially reported by Tru News Report and various other reputable media outlets. The statement was made during the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum held at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel in Accra on November 20. Bagbin highlighted the challenges faced by Parliament as an institution, including the loss of land and buildings that they are still trying to recover.
He also mentioned the “near loss” of his own land, which elicited laughter from the audience. However, he later clarified his comments in a video shared by the state-run Daily Graphic newspaper.
“I did not say my residence was sold, but this was just a comment in passing that it was almost sold but luckily, I was in possession and I said it was when they went to Lands Commission that they realized from the search that it was the residence of the Speaker.
“Don’t after all the beautiful things that I have said, go and report on sensationalism and mar the beauty of the forum. Actually, as we invite the media into the committee meetings of the House, we are developing guidelines and that is done globally,” he stressed.
During the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum on November 20, 2023, Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin revealed that his official residence which is located in Cantonments, Accra was almost sold to a private developer while he was still residing there.
The Lands Commission only became aware of this when the developer attempted to register the property. Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor, the Member of Parliament for the South Dayi constituency in the Volta Region and a Ghanaian, took to his Twitter page to reveal this while expressing his astonishment at the unexpected turn of events.
At today’s Speaker’s Breakfast Forum, Speaker Bagbin revealed that, the Speaker’s Residence at Cantonments in Accra, was sold to a private Developer whilst he was in that residence. The Lands Commission discovered this only when the Developer went to register it. Unbelievable!!
On November 20, 2023, the Lands Commission, represented by its acting executive secretary, Benjamin Arthur, released a press statement countering the allegations and presenting a comprehensive overview of the property’s recent transactions. The statement unequivocally dismissed the claim as baseless.
“The Lands Commission has become aware of reports in a section of the media suggesting that the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament’s official residence at Cantonments has been sold to a private developer. The Commission wishes to state emphatically that at no point in time was the said property sold to a private developer by the Lands Commission.
“The land in question was acquired in 1920 by a Certificate of Title, dated June 7, 1920, for government services.
“Since 2003, the land has always been used as the official residence of the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament,” part of the press statement said.
The statement added: “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 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 Lands Commission is, therefore, unaware of any purported sale of the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament’s official residence to a private developer. The Commission wishes to reiterate 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.”