Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed satisfaction over steps taken by the Government of Ghana to address the demolition of the residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner in Accra, Ghana.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, briefing journalists in Abuja, recalled the efforts made by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayokor Botchwey, over the demolition.
Onyeama said the Federal Government was concerned because reports it received indicated that the perpetrators of demolition had a lot of time in which to carry out the action notwithstanding the fact that the Charge d’Affaires of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana placed a call to the Ghanaian authorities and security agents were nowhere to be seen, but only showed up after the demolition had been carried out.
He added that available reports showed that there was a sense of congeniality amongst the security agents that were at the scene and those who perpetrated the act, violating a sovereign territory of Nigeria in Ghana.
Onyeama further said the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana provided the proof of payment for the land to the Ghanaian Government, but the Lands Commission of Ghana said the High Commission did not go on to secure further documents of title deed.
He said upon the proof of payment provided by the High Commission, the Ghanaian Government acknowledged that the land belonged to the Nigerian High Commission and that the actions were illegal and totally unjustified.
Onyeama also said the perpetrators have been arrested and arraigned in court and the Government of Ghana, after the initial interaction with the Government of Nigeria, had again apologised and acknowledged that there was a basis to the Nigerian claim.
The Foreign Minister also stated the Ghanaian Government has directed that the necessary administrative procedures that were not previously done be completed.
‘The Government of Ghana has assumed total responsibility and, with the apology, have made it clear that they will be responsible for restitution – rebuilding the building to the state that it was when it was destroyed.
‘So, this is to say that the matter has been satisfactorily resolved and that, at the very highest level as I mentioned, President Muhammadu Buhari personally engaged in this process.
‘The President of Ghana has apologised, those who carried out the action have been arrested and charged to court and the Ghana Government has agreed to rebuild the property.
‘So, we would like to put the matter to rest and to acknowledge the very speedy reaction of the Ghanaian Government and to say that we would now continue to further strengthen relations between our two countries, take lessons learnt from what has happened and move ahead without recriminations,’ Onyeama said.