Hundreds of illegal structures and houses occupying portions of the over 200-acre land of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at Adentan-Frafraha have been demolished.
The demolition exercise was carried out by the Greater Accra Regional Security Council, following the expiration of the 48 hours given to the encroachers to vacate the property on Monday.
Addressing the media yesterday, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, explained that since the 48 hours given encroachers had elapsed in early hours of yesterday, he invited the REGSEC to move in to secure the land within the 200-acre fenced perimeter.
The Minister, however, urged the landlords association outside the 200 acres to meet quickly and list their genuine grievances so that the REGSEC would make recommendations to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for lawful properties to be considered for regularisation.
“That will be like a relief for those who have lived around for 20 – 30 years, and not knowing what their fate is…But today, I can assure them that we will make strong recommendations for them to be able to regularise, or rather, have their their documents regularised for them,” he assured.
Mr Quartey pointed out that REGSEC is not securing the land and properties for prospective claimants to go and profit from.
“They have the locus; they have the gravitas, and they decide what to do with their land, and we will not come in for anybody to build. The long and short of it is that we secured it for CSIR; it’s a government property, and so shall it be,” he stated.
The REGSEC team demolished everything to ground zero. The structures included all existing and newly springing up buildings within the 200 acres of the fenced land.
The CSIR-ARI, the Minister explained, is one of the 13 research institutes of the CSIR, which is governed by the CSIR Act 521 1996 under the Executive Instrument (E.I. 38), with over 1000-acre land in 1976 at Adentan-Frafraha. It is mandated to conduct research into the development and transfer of livestock and poultry technologies to communities, farmer groups, private and public organizations to ensure the long-term food security of the nation.
He recounted how CSIR-ARI, in 2014, as part of efforts to retrieve land illegally acquired by encroachers, went to court and obtained a writ of possession in an attempt to evict encroachers from the land. All the efforts, however, became abortive.
“In an attempt to stop further encroachment, CSIR-ARI in 2017 acquired a loan to fence off the remaining 200-acre portion of the land, and the encroachment is even more serious while large portions of these fences have been broken down by encroachers who had moved into these previously fenced areas to put up single rooms,” he said.