Compulsory land acquisition by government and litigations in Ghana: an empirical study of three educational institutions in Wa Municipality
Keywords:Bureaucracy, Eminent Domain, Fragmentations, Infrastructure Development, Land Tenure, Public Interest
This study examined government’s compulsory acquisitions of land for public educational infrastructure development in Ghana, using three case studies in Wa Municipality of Upper West Region. The strategy of inquiry was qualitative, involving key informant interviews with heads of the acquiring authorities and beneficiary institutions as well as semi-structured interviews with pre-acquiring owners and settlers of the lands. The findings revealed that the processes of compulsory acquisition of the subject lands had been delayed, and it is unclear when they would be completed. The processes were not properly followed as determined in the State Lands Regulations of 1962 (L.I. 230) and its subsequent amendments, which provide the processes or procedures for state acquisition of lands under the State Lands Act of 1962 (Act 125), leading to agitations and litigations between landlords and government institutions. The study attributes the problems of compulsory land acquisition to failure of acquiring institutions to follow procedures laid by regulations on compulsory acquisition. It recommends that landowners should be represented in the acquisition process from the onset to ensure fairness and prompt payment of adequate compensation as provided for by the law to reduce tension and litigations between government institutions and landlords.