Ghana agrees to restore Nigerian building

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The Ghanaian government is willing to restore the residential building of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana that was demolished Friday.

Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mrs Shirley Ayokor Botchewey gave this pledge while briefing journalists in Ghana on the outcome of the investigation into the attack.

Her words: “The Land Commission will formally inform the Osu Traditional Council that in August, 2000, an offer was made to the High Commission of Nigeria, irrespective of the title of land in question.

“The offer was accepted by the High Commission and payment was made accordingly that constituted a contract.

“The Land Commission will proceed to issue a land certificate to the High Commission of Nigeria, to regularise its ownership of the property in question.

“Ghana will take immediate steps to engage the Osu stool and all stakeholders on the impasse. It will ensure that the demolished building is restored to its original state as soon as possible.

“The High Commission of Nigeria will take appropriate steps to obtain building permit for the construction.”

She added that a committee consisting of officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghana Police Service, National Security and the Lands Commission had been constituted to investigate the unlawful demolition of the building.

The minister said based on preliminary investigation, Nigeria paid for the land 20 years ago, even though the High Commission could not produce the lease, land title certificate and building permit of the land.

She gave an assurance that the government of Ghana would actively engage the Nigerian government at the highest level to address the impasse and help calm tensions in both countries.

She noted that arrests had been made in relation to the demolition and that the case had been prosecuted in court for conspiracy to crime and cause of unlawful damages.