The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says the government of Ghana will ensure that the demolished structure on the compound of the Nigerian High Commission‘s residency is rebuilt as soon as possible.
According to her, the High Commission has duly made payment for that parcel of land, hence any encroachment onto the property constituted a breach.
Addressing a press conference in Accra in the wake of the demolition of the structure by some unknown persons, the Minister said although preliminary investigations show that the High Commission did not have the land title certificate, it had receipts of payment on the land made by Banker’s Draft, payable to the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission.
Ghana has had to constitute a committee made up of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Lands Commission, the National Security Secretariat and the Ghana Police Service to investigate the demolition of the building which was situated on the Nigerian High Commission’s premises, located at 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, Ringway Estates, East Ridge, Accra, on Friday, 19th June, 2020.
The incident has generated concerns within the diplomatic community, with many describing it as a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations which stipulate that the premises of the Mission as well as the private residence of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable.
Shirley Ayorkor Botwey who has assured that Ghana will not relent on its primary obligation to protect and guarantee the safety of members of the Diplomatic Corps said, among other things, the Lands Commission will proceed to issue a Land Title Certificate to the High Commission of Nigeria to regularize its ownership of the property in question and also take immediate steps to engage the Osu Stool and all stakeholders on the impasse.
Read below the other resolutions of the committee:
i. The Lands Commission will issue a letter to the Osu Traditional Council stating that in August 2000, a formal offer was made to the High Commission of Nigeria in respect of the parcel of land in question; the offer was accepted by the High Commission and payments made, accordingly constituting a contract;
ii. The Lands Commission will proceed to issue a Land Title Certificate to the High Commission of Nigeria to regularize its ownership of the property in question;
iii. The Government of Ghana will take immediate steps to engage the Osu Stool and all stakeholders on the impasse;
iv. Following the arrest of some persons connected to the breach of the premises of the High Commission of Nigeria, the Criminal Investigation Department will expedite action on investigations, given the delicate nature of the matter and its potential ramifications on Ghana–Nigeria relations;
v. The Government of Ghana will ensure that the demolished building is restored to its original state, as soon as possible;
vi. The High Commission of Nigeria will take appropriate steps to obtain building permits for the construction;
vii. In view of the above, the Government of Ghana will actively engage the Nigerian Government at the highest level to address the impasse and help calm tensions in both countries.