Ghana: Construction freeze on the property of the Bulgarian Embassy – Property Commission

The Land Commission has taken steps to halt the construction of a building on land previously occupied by the Bulgarian Embassy here in Accra.

In an executive order dated March 15, 2020, posted at the entrance to the facility on Lot No. 2 East Cantonments, Accra, the Commission ordered that development cease immediately.

“It has been determined that this structure/development on the Bulgarian Embassy property will be modified pursuant to a sublease from Theophilus K. Leighton (now deceased) dated August 2, 1983 for a term of 50 years commencing July 1, 1983 expire on June 30, 2033.

“You are hereby informed that the assignment in favor of Dr. Yaw Adu-Ampomah for the government’s reversal of the 40 years from 1 July 2033 of the 99 year grant to Mr Leighton.

“The Lands Commission intends to exercise the options prescribed in the Lands Act (Act 1036) if you do not cease work immediately,” said the order, which was submitted to the Ghanaian Times and by Gifty Osei, a Senior Land Administration Officer of the Regional Lands Officer, signed .

The “stop work” order follows calls from a minority in Parliament for a public parliamentary hearing into the alleged demolitions by gunmen.

According to the caucus, if the cause of the alleged demolition and the people behind it are not clarified and punished, this could trigger a diplomatic dispute between Ghana and Bulgaria.

In a Facebook post, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration’s “unresponsiveness” to questions from Bulgarians, even after sending a delegation to Ghana, was regrettable.

The alleged demolition has been described as a “shocking, highly lawless, provocative Mafia-style operation” and the North Tongu MP said people who wanted to demolish the embassy had informed the Honorary Consul, Mr Nicolaas CM van Staalduinen, in his Endeavors hold them back.

“Valuables such as generators, computers, printers, refrigerators, archival documents that represent a treasure trove of deep historical ties, and a stockpile of important diplomatic exchanges were not spared by the marauding invaders.

“The perpetrators are now building their own structure at the speed of light day and night to complete their nefarious mission. This aggressive, mindless attack is usually seen as a declaration of war,” Mr Ablakwa explained.

According to Mr. Ablakwa, the demolition constitutes a “grotesque” violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which requires that a mission’s premises be inviolable and that the host country must take steps to protect a mission’s premises from any intrusion or Damage.

Speaking to the media about the demolition, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the demolition could cut ties between Ghana and the eastern European country.

As a caucus, the minority leader said they were disappointed considering the portfolios the president has held past and present.

“We just don’t want to believe that this is all happening under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a former Foreign Minister and former Attorney General, and you can’t respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomacy? We are disappointed,” Iddrisu, NDC MP for Tamale South, said.

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