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Bulgarian Embassy demolition: Developer must pay compensation, face sanctions – Sole Inquirer

The Sole Inquirer who looked into the demolition of a structure at the Bulgarian Embassy in Accra has recommended the sanctioning of the supposed private developer who caused the destruction of the Embassy’s building.

The developer has also been directed to pay compensation to affected persons in the destruction.

These were contained in an excerpt of the Sole Inquirer’s report as released by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

The private developer, Jojo Hagan, is said to have taken over as the Executor of the Will of one Mr. Leighton and vested the property in the named beneficiaries of the Will while pursuing the cases at the Court.

He also obtained judgment for the eviction of the occupants whom he described as trespassers and an order to demolish the property which he described as unfit for human habitation, at the Circuit Court, Accra.

His action of evicting the trespassers and also causing the demolition of the property according to the report did not “follow due process”.

This, the Sole Inquirer, finds wrong and recommends that Mr. Hagan must be allowed to face the law.

“Mr. Jojo Hagan should be sanctioned for not following due process in the eviction of the alleged trespassers and the demolition of the building and should be made to compensate the Bulgarian Embassy”, part of the report read.

The Sole Inquirer also recommended that since the title to the land has not been determined by the Courts, it is advised that Government should intervene in finding an amicable solution to this matter.

The Bulgarian Embassy, located at Kakramadu Road, Plot No. 10, East Cantonments in Accra, was demolished by a private developer in 2017.

The Lands Commission ordered the developer to stop work on a redevelopment project on the site. But work has since been progressing.

The Bulgarian Ambassador to Ghana and Nigeria, Yanko Yordanov, has accused the Ghanaian government of breaching the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

He warned of far-reaching implications on diplomatic relationships with Ghana due to the demolition of a facility on the premises of its Embassy in Accra.

Yanko Yordanov, who is worried about the turn of events, called on the government of Ghana to as a matter of urgency ensure that the protocols of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations are respected.

Government thus appointed a retired justice of the High Court, Justice Kwasi Anto Ofori-Atta as Sole Inquirer to:

  1. Undertake a full and impartial inquiry into the alleged encroachment and/or demolishing of property on the land being used as the Bulgarian Embassy;
  2. Make appropriate recommendations relating to the land being used as the Bulgarian Embassy;
  3. Inquire into the nature of interest in any land held or occupied by Diplomatic Missions in Ghana;
  4. Inquire into any matter relating to land in which Diplomatic Missions in Ghana have an interest whatsoever; and
  5. Make recommendations to Government.

Following the release of his report, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said after studying the 149 page report of the Sole Inquirer, it accepts the findings and recommendations of the Sole Inquirer in full.

It added that it has begun taking the necessary steps to implement the recommendations of the Sole Inquirer.

Find below the report released by the Ministry.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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