CDS & Army Commander’s official residence sold

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The Herald, has picked up reports on certain military prime lands in Accra that have quietly been slashed and sold to a private developer.

Mention has been made of the portions of the official residence of the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) at Roman Ridge in Accra, known as “Number One Roman Ridge” which has been sold out to a yet-to-be-identified private developer. 

Also gone out of the military occupancy, The Herald, learnt, is a part of the official residence of the Army Commander known as “Number Two Roman Ridge” also located at Roman Ridge next door to the CDS’s residence.

The terms of the transaction which has left the rank and file of the military grumbling, are not known. They only heard that parts of the lands, have been sold out by some senior officers on the claim that they are too big, hence becoming very difficult to maintain.  

But this is not the first time that these lands have been embroiled in controversy. 

Years ago, under the John Mahama administration, there was a hullabaloo over these same lands with reports the government wanted to sell it.

In the melee, then President John Mahama, was forced to come out to deny the accusations that his government was selling off military lands and other properties to private developers.

Mr Mahama, had to debunk the allegations when he inaugurated a new accommodation facility for the junior officers of the Ghana Air Force in the Western Region in March 2015.

At the time a group called the Alliance for Safeguarding the Integrity of the Security Services (ASISS), had sworn on their lives to fight attempts by the then Mahama government to sell military lands to private developers.

ASISS which is made up of ex-military officers had at the time catalogued several lands and properties they claim have been sold or given to private developers including the No.1 Roman Ridge residence, Army officers Mess, 1 Drake Avenue, Labadi Villa’s land and Teshie Camp (portions have been sold).

In a statement jointly signed by Lt Col A. Serebour (RTD), Wg Cdr B.A. Asamoah (RTD) and Major N. Mensah (RTD) said it’s meant to “vehemently protest against indiscriminate sale” of army properties in the country because the practice has “the potential to inhibit future development and expansion of the service.”

They were emphatic that some properties of the military, including historic places were being sold out to private developers, something which, according to them, the hierarchy of the military must pull the brakes over as a means of protecting and preserving the forces’ heritage for future generations.

“We have convincing evidence that Ghana Armed Forces properties, including places of historic importance, are being sold to private developers.”

Reliable information reaching them, according to the statement is that the spree is not limited to Accra but to other garrisons across the country.

These properties, according to the retired soldiers, are being sold to private developers to be used for shopping malls, hotels, private hospitals, and filling stations among others.

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) had at the time vehemently denied selling any lands and properties but explained that it had entered into a partnership with a private developer to build accommodation for army officers.

The GAF’s explanation, however, raised serious concerns with Financial Analyst and anti-corruption crusader, Sydney Casely-Hayford, asking for a full disclosure of the said Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement which had been made.

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