Mr Saaka Ahmed Mustapha, Head of Administration, Regional Lands Commission in Tamale, has advised the public to register lands bought from Chiefs with the Lands Commission to avoid double sales.
According to Mr Mustapha, buying lands from Chiefs does not guarantee legal ownership of the land until the land is registered with the Lands Commission.
Mr Mustapha, who was speaking in an interview with the GNA in Tamale, pointed out that it was erroneous for anyone to think that if a piece of land was bought from a Chief or landowner and provided with some documentation from his side, then you legally owned the land.
He emphasized that Chiefs were the custodians of the land but when it came to the registration of land, it was the mandate of the Lands Commission.
“If you buy land from a Chief and you fail to register it and the same land is sold to another person and that person comes to register the land with the Lands Commission, then the one who bought the land first will lose any legal battle over the land,” he said.
Mr Mustapha emphasized that if the first person took steps to register the land with the Commission, the second buyer would not be able to register the land again and hence could not take the land from the first buyer.
The Head of Administration at the Wa Regional Lands Commission also called for the need to conduct a search on lands with the Lands Commission before going in to buy them.
“A search on the land will reveal if the land has already been sold and registered in someone’s name or it’s free and available for buying,” he said and added that only the Lands Commission could offer you these details and advice appropriately.
Mr Mustapha said land litigation issues were becoming too many due to ignorance about land acquisition and registration processes, thereby cautioning the public not to take these things for granted or else they lose their investments to unscrupulous individuals engaged in the double sale of lands.