© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Nigeria reacts to demolition of its diplomatic building in Ghana, demands prosecution of culprits
FOLLOWING the demolition of a portion of the staff quarters belonging to the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana, Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister has decried the action calling on Ghanaian authorities to bring the perpetrators to book.
In a Twitter post, Onyeama said the Nigerian government denounced the outrageous attack on a residential building on its diplomatic premises by unknown persons.
“We strongly condemn two outrageous criminal attacks in Accra, Ghana on a residential building in our diplomatic premises by unknown persons in which a bulldozer was used to demolish the building.
“We are engaging the Ghanaian Government and demand urgent action to find the perpetrators and provide adequate protection for Nigerians and their property in Ghana,” he said.
However, the affected buildings were reportedly being constructed for house staff and visitors of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana before the demolition exercise was carried out late Friday.
According to a report, a yet to be identified man knocked down the fence surrounding the building last week alleging that the land where the building was sited belonged to him.
However, the report states that the action of the man was not opposed while the Nigerian High Commission petitioned the Ghanaian Government about it, but there was no response.
Days later, he was said to have returned to the premises of the staff quarters in the company of armed men who supervised the demolition, while a bulldozer began to pull down the building.
In a bid to stop the demolition, officials of the Nigerian High Commission had contacted the Ghanaian police who showed up at the site when the building was almost pulled down but the police purportedly allowed the man to leave the scene without reprimand or questioning.
This incident came five months after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied reports that the Nigerian Commission in Ghana had been evicted in Accra.
Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had stated there was no “diplomatic row between Nigeria and the Republic of Ghana”.
He said, though the lease of the property located on No.10 Barnes Road, Accra has expired, the high commission was exploring the possibility of renewing the lease agreement with the host authorities.