Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, clarified his widely reported comment that his official residence at Cantonments had been sold to a private developer.
The said comment was made by Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin during an address at the November 20, Speaker’s Breakfast Forum held at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel in Accra.
In emphasizing the challenges that Parliament as an institution faces, he mentioned the loss of land and buildings that they were still trying to retrieve, and then he mentioned the ‘near loss’ of his land, which comment generated laughter.
Later during the session, he had cause to clarify the said 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.
Lands Commission reacts:
The Lands Commission, through its Acting Executive Secretary, Benjamin Arthur, issued a press statement on November 20, 2023, refuting the allegations and providing a detailed account of the property’s recent transactions.
The statement dismissed the claim as unfounded.
“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 7th June, 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.”