A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law has called for a reorientation of security personnel particularly police officers on how to handle land issues.
Kwame Gyan discussing the new Land Law on Joy News’ Newsfile Saturday, said the police needs to be abreast with the “innovative sanctioning regime” that has been introduced in the Act to help resolve the frequent land dispute matters.
“For most of our police people when there is a land matter and a criminal dimension immerges if the matters go to the police, most of the time what they tell you, ‘if someone has come on your land go to Court’ because it is a civil issue.
“But we need to reorient our police particularly, with this New Law to let them appreciate the criminal components of land matters so that they will be able to address the criminal side and leave the civil side to whoever want to deal with it to take it to court,” he told host Samson Lardy Anyenini.
Acknowledging that the previous land law did not fully address all the issues confronting the land sector, Mr Gyan was optimistic that the new law which took nearly 16 years to enact will resolve most of the dreading matters that lands administration has caused.
He, however, asked all and sundry to be committed to see the implementation and actualization of the New Laws.
“Now for most Ghanaians, this [the new Land Law] should be a very welcoming news but those who have been instrumental in the passage of this law are not going to be the ones to arrest and prosecute land guards.
“So what we should be looking at is how we enforce this Section 12. Particularly, with the menace of land guards, the people who are marauding around lands collecting digging fees and all sort of things. And if we could be tough to set some examples on the ground we will have some peace of mind,” he stressed.
Specifying some of the sanctions introduced in the New Land law, the Senior Lecturer said, land guards, can now be convicted for at least five-years and not more than 15 years.
He also indicated that when one is found guilty of any land guard activity, there would be no option of fine instead the culprit would be imprisoned.
“There are different targets of the sanctions, the Section 12 sanctions are very prominent and intended to deal with the land guard issues,” he said