Management of University of Cape Coast (UCC) is calling on security agencies to invite Nana Kwesi Mensah III, Chief of Kwaprow, one of the communities surrounding the University. The invitation is to interrogate and seek further proof from the said chief over claims of ownership of some portions of the University’s lands.
This call follows a press conference by the chief over claims that the University was unlawfully claiming ownership of some acres of land belonging to his community and threatened to employ force to get his demand of repossessing the land met.
“If persuasion fails, force must be applied” the chief is quoted to have said.
However, a statement signed by a Senior Assistant Registrar at the Directorate of Public Affairs, Mr. Kwabena Antwi-Konadu, for the Director, Major (rtd) Kofi Baah Bentum, said the University was worried by the threat and called on the security agencies to invite and interrogate the chief over the threat.
The statement said the threat by the chief was borne out of an ongoing fence wall being constructed by the University to halt further encroachment on its land.
Giving the historic background to the acquisition of the land by the University of Cape Coast, the statement noted it was first acquired under an Executive Instrument (EI), State Lands (University College) Instrument, 1968 (E.I. 87). This was amended in 1972 by an Executive Instrument (EL 13), State Lands (Cape Coast-Site for University College) Instrument, 1972. The Land size covered under the E.I 13 is 6.22 square (sq.) miles.
It further noted the Lands Valuation Board of the Lands Commission – at the time of the acquisition – was tasked to identify the owners of the Lands.
“There were sixty-three (63) individuals and families who owned various sizes of land making a total of 6.22 sq. miles. Records from the Lands Commission shows that full compensation for 95% of the total land was paid to the prior owners. Of the remaining 5% not fully paid, records show part payment to the owner(s), file of the owner(s) not available at the Lands Commission and conflicting claims made by different individuals or families,” the statement, dated 9th August, 2022 stated.
It described as untrue government reducing the size of the land to 4.5 sq. miles and ceding the remaining to Kwaprow or any other community.
The statement pointed out that “Any such reduction or cession of portions of the University land ought to be done through the same Executive Instrument but no record exists to prove that claim.”
“Notwithstanding,” it added, “the receipt of full compensation, the University has, over the years, witnessed concerted efforts by the leadership of the communities, including Kwaprow, to sell portions of the University lands.”
The statement enjoined public bodies entrusted with public lands to take measures to protect the land, whilst quoting the Public Lands (Protection) Decree, 1974 (NRCD 240) as amended by the Lands Act 2020.
It noted further that “At the instance of the Oguaamanhen, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, UCC management met with residents of Amamoma and Kwaprow on February 2, 2022 to discuss the way forward in respect of residents whose structures would be affected by the planned construction of a wall by the University.”
"At the said meeting, it was agreed that persons affected by the construction should submit relevant details for purposes of verification, since it was established that most of them did not possess valid documents to the land.
"The University at that meeting also assured residents, whose properties fall within the wall, that it does not intend to demolish their properties.
“There is no evidence whatsoever to prove any demolition of properties belonging to residents whose properties fall within the said wall being constructed,” the statement concluded.
Source: Documentation and Information Section-UCC