The Lands Commission is challenging the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to give information regarding its recent investigation, which identified the commission as Ghana’s most corrupt governmental institution.
According to the data, the Lands Commission officers in Ghana received the largest amount of bribes among public authorities in the country.
James Dadson, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, claims that the recipients of the bribes are not members of the commission’s personnel.
He claims that the majority of people are taken advantage of by individuals who serve as go-betweens between the commission’s employees and its clients, resulting in the solicitation of sizable sums of money from them.
He claims that this is what ultimately led to the commission’s bad reputation.
“We are not defending our staff because we’re not angels in that office. All that we want is that if some staff have been involved in these unacceptable practices, let us know because we also have our own sanctions.
“Every staff in the office is properly identified and so if somebody is out there soliciting and the person is not a staff and you go and transact with that person, the person takes money from you, then these researchers come and they interview you ‘oh I went to Lands and somebody took my money’ and it’s all about lands commission.
“As to who they spoke to, whether the person is an official of the office, whether the person is a goro boy or an estate agent, it’s very difficult for us to determine. And we think that they have to take a second look at that approach,” he said.
He added that although the Lands Commission is a human organization and hence prone to some vices, he is confident that most bribes being received on the property are not being done by commission employees.
“But I want to say that a lot of these things that are going on don’t directly involve our staff. They involve people who have made it their business, they go out there, they’re in the chiefs’ premises facilitating sale or purchase of land and then they will continue and say ‘Oh I will take it and go and register it for you.’ So they’re all over the place.”
He claims that because the Lands Commission is a public office, not much can be done to limit the operations of goro guys there.