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Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
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The government has denied the involvement of President J.E.A. Mills in the grabbing of state lands as being alleged by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Debunking the allegation on behalf of the government, a deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said at the time the land was given out, President Mills was not a government member for which reason he could not have influenced the process.

He explained that President’s land which is located at Ofankor in Accra, was acquired by the University of Ghana and given to its lecturers at the time he (President Mills) was a lecturer at that university.

His reaction stemmed from a news conference addressed by the NPP Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, on Wednesday in which President Mills was named among functionaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who benefited from the Accra Redevelopment Plan.

The plan was introduced by the Rawlings administration to properly utilise government lands and bungalows which had been sitting on large tracts of land.

The NPP’s news conference was in reaction to a publication in the Wednesday, May 20, 2012 edition of the Daily Graphic on the grabbing of state lands and bungalows.

But Mr Ablakwa described the NPP’s claim against the President as regrettable, saying that the opposition party’s response was a desperate attempt to engage in politics of equalisation.

He said it was important to elevate, “our politics from this pettiness which in the long run, make politicians look bad.”

Explaining how President Mills was allocated the land, the deputy minister said the President was among 50 lecturers at the time who balloted and won the right to the said land.

He said that the year in which beneficiaries took advantage of the policy did not start in 1982 as Nana Akomea sought to portray.

“The land matter must be addressed according to principle and truth regardless of one’s political persuasion,” he added and reiterated that the attempt by the NPP to engage in political equalisation, fabrication and distortion only pointed to a conscious effort by wrong doers to cover up their acts.

The issue of key personalities taking advantage of the Accra Redevelopment Plan to arrogate onto themselves state lands has dominated media discourses following a recent Supreme Court judgement which declared that the decision of the government in 2008 to sell a state bungalow to a former Chief of Staff in the Kufour administration, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, was in order.

Mr Ablakwa and Dr Edward Omane-Boamah now deputy ministers, in 2008 filed a suit, then as private citizens, against Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, challenging his right to purchase a bungalow he was occupying when he was the Chief of Staff.
Source: Sebastian Syme/Daily Graphic

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