The Sole Investigator who investigated the demolition of a structure at the Bulgarian Embassy in Accra has recommended sanctioning the alleged private developer who caused the destruction of the Embassy building.
The developer is also required to pay compensation to those affected by the destruction.
These were included in an excerpt from the Sole Investigator’s report released by the Department of Lands and Natural Resources.
The private developer, Jojo Hagan, is said to have taken over as executor from a certain Mr Leighton and entrusted the property to the named beneficiaries of the will while pursuing cases in court.
Parts of his report say: “Mr. Jojo Hagan should be sanctioned for failing to follow due process in the eviction of the alleged trespassers and the demolition of the building and should be made to compensate the Bulgarian Embassy.
It is recalled that following the demolition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration distanced itself from the development.
A deputy minister for foreign affairs and regional integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, told a news conference that “the government has nothing to do with what the developer is doing.”
“The ministry wishes to take this opportunity to take stock of the property in question and the circumstances of the demolition.
“The Bulgarian Embassy leased the property in question to the late Theophilus Kofi Leighton on February 1, 1979, a lease which was extended from 1983 for fifty (50) years for which an amount of one million old Ghana Cedis was been paid for by the Embassy with the option to renew for another fifty (50) years. The lease expires in 2033.
“Upon the death of the landlord, the administrator of the estate of the late Kofi Leighton attempted to forcibly repossess the property due to alleged non-payment of rent arrears by the Bulgarian Embassy despite payment in full by this last of the Leighton fire lease.
“Aware of its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 regarding the obligation of host States to the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions, the Ministry has convened the parties to a meeting for a settlement at the amicably of the matter.
“Dissatisfied with the ministry’s conciliatory approach to resolving the matter, the administrator of the late Leighton’s estate approached the High Court with a writ of declaration of title to the property housing the Bulgarian Embassy; payment of accumulated rent arrears and an order to evict and repossess the property Some of these remedies were awarded by the High Court, however on appeal the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s decision.
“The case traveled all the way to the Supreme Court. In its judgment, the Supreme Court upheld the findings of the Court of Appeal, dated July 21, 2011, which overturned the High Court’s decision and upheld the right of the Bulgarian Embassy to the leased property.
“Notwithstanding the above judgment of the Supreme Court, the late Leighton’s successor sold the leased property to a private developer, who then encroached upon it.
Source: Ghana Web
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