The Government has assured that it will restore the demolished building at the Nigerian High Commission to its original state, as soon as possible.
The decision follows some evidence which suggested that the High Commission lawfully acquired the parcel of land in dispute.
Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Shirley Aryokor Botchwey said the Lands Commission would proceed to issue a Land Title certificate to the High Commission of Nigeria to regularise its ownership of the property in question and while government takes immediate steps to engage the Osu Stool and all stakeholders on the impasse.
She noted that government took a serious view of the violation of the diplomatic premises and regrets over the incident.
“I wish to assure the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the Government of Ghana would pursue this matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that the perpetrators are sanctioned in accordance with the laws of the land,” she emphasised.
Ms Botchwey explained that in August 7, 2000, the Nigerian High Commission in a letter referenced SCR/LCS 74/VOL.2/95 was granted allocation and right of entry to the four-acre parcel of land in the Accra Osu Mantse Layout by the Lands Commission.
She said the High Commission further presented receipts of payments on the said land, made by Bankers Draft payable to the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission.
However, Land Title Certificate was issued to the High Commission, she stated, adding that, “The Lands Commission stated that the said four-acre parcel of land is part of vested land which is owned by the Osu Stool and managed by the Lands Commission. In June 2019, the Osu Stool requested the Greater Accra Regional Lands Commission to grant a lease in respect of a part of the said land to a third party.”
She said unfortunately, owing to the fact that the High Commission did not obtain a lease following the allocation letter, or proceed to obtain a Land Title certificate or even a building permit for the new property, a search by the Lands Commission did not show that any proper documentation had been obtained in respect of the property.
Despite this Ms Botcwhey said it was worth noting that Articles 22 and 30 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations stipulated that the premises of the mission as well as the private residence of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable.
Thus, the incident of Friday June 19, 2020 constituted a breach of the convention.
BY AGNES OPOKU-SARPONG AND ELSIE COMMODORE