Exploring the Implications of Supreme Court Ruling on 72,000 Acres of Prime Land in Ghana’s Capital: An Analysis of Land Tenure Security

January 2024
J. T. Appiah (Land Portal)

This blog piece is authored by a land valuation specialist and member of the Ghanaian Institution of Surveyors. It offers the author’s perspectives on potential consequences for the tenure security of different stakeholders from a landmark ruling by Ghana’s Supreme Court. The article provides some context on land issues in Ghana before noting that the Supreme Court judgement has overturned a 1982 Court of Appeal ruling that granted rights over the land in the Teshie area of the Greater Accra Region to the Numo Nmashie Family of Teshie and the Dowuona Family of Osu. The land area subject to the recent judgement included 70 villages, which the Numo Nmashie Family had claimed all land ownership over in a legal saga dating back to 1966. The original claims and the 1982 decision were found to have been based on fraudulent information, thus the Supreme Court has ordered the Lands Commission to expunge related registrations and certificates. The author concludes that this judgement is likely to create major insecurity of tenure for numerous tenant farmers in the affected area, with lease terms and agreements likely to be affected. Some tenants may also choose to take their own legal action, underscoring the importance of having a strong yet transparent and accountable land administration system in Ghana. Lengthy court processes and legal delays are noted by the author as detrimental to this, sowing confusion and putting off investors.