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Foreign Minister rubbishes claims of High Commission “demolition”

After soothing hurt feelings in Nigeria, Shirley Botchwey moves to get the details of the story of damage to the mission’s building straight

The Ghana News Agency reports that Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has offered more accurate reports about destruction this past week at the putative Nigerian High Commission chancery/residence in Accra. In a statement to the GNA, Ms Botchwey said the premises had not been demolished, contrary to claims on social media.

“The building in question is neither the chancery nor the residence, but a property belonging to the Nigerian High Commission that was unfortunately pulled down by some now identified private individuals,” Ms Botchwey said.

“Let me on this note reiterate the government’s promise to bring the perpetrators to book, while it ensures that the structure is restored to its original state.”

The part-bulldozed structure near the Nigerian High Commission
The part-bulldozed building

 

The unfortunate incident happened last Friday (19 June) when a group of armed men reportedly stormed the property with bulldozers to bring down the structures.

They were said to have demolished a block of uncompleted flats in the embassy’s premises while threatening its staff. Reports said the demolition was linked to a land ownership struggle between the Commission and chiefs of the Osu Traditional Areas.

The matter threatened to raise tensions between Ghana and Nigeria, but Accra has moved to call for calm.

 

Full investigation

The incident has been condemned by the Government of Ghana. President Akufo-Addo made a personal call to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and apologised on behalf of all Ghanaians.

Aso Rock, the Office of the President in Abuja, took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm that Akufo-Addo had called the Nigerian leader in connection with the incident.

“President [Akufo-Addo] of Ghana [on Tuesday] spoke with Pres Buhari, expressing his sincere apology for demolition of a building on the premises of Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana,” the tweet read.

“In a telephone call, the Ghanaian leader told President Buhari that he has directed full investigation into the incident.”

This followed an apology to the Nigerian High Commission over the incident from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Police arrest two

Meanwhile, the police have arrested two people in connection with the attack on the High Commission building.

A press release from the Criminal Investigations Department said the suspects have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime – to wit; unlawful entry and causing unlawful damage.

“The Criminal Investigations Department, in the course of investigation on Monday 22nd June 2020, arrested two persons involved in the demolition of a building on the premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra,” the CID statement said.

Earlier in the week, the Ghana Police Service said it had dispatched armed personnel to guard the scene of the demolition.

The police said they had launched an investigation into the matter and promised to apprehend the culprits.

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Source
Citinewsroom.com Ghana News Agency
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