Why Nigerian Embassy building in Ghana was demolished and latest updates

On Friday night, some armed men stormed the Nigerian High Commissioner’ residence in Accra, Ghana, with bulldozers to demolish a block of apartments in the diplomatic building.

The building which was still undergoing construction was being built to house staff and visiting diplomats to the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana.

Reports said the armed men threatened to shoot staff of the Nigerian embassy who were present at the scene if they interfere in their operations.

According to the head of security at the High Commission Emmanuel Kabutey, the leader of the team that came to demolish the building told them that they had the backing of National Security and that “if any of us try, he will clear us off.”

Insistent that the demolition being backed by authorities in the Ghanaian Government, Kabutey complained about the lacklustre attitude of the police in handling the situation.

“When the police came, they did not come to us or any other person but rather went straight to the man [leader of the armed men] they had a friendly chat, exchanged numbers with him and allowed him to go,” Kabutey told JoyNews.

“When they came back in, they took pictures but did not ask me or my boys anything.”

 The demolition of the building has caused uproar with some quarters, including members of the Nigeria's house of representatives calling for reprisal action.

Reports said the lease on the land on which the property was erected had expired and rather than complete arrangements to renew it, the Nigerian authorities went ahead to build residential structures on it.

The alleged owner linked to the Osu Traditional authority in Accra, came with a detachment of armed security officials and bulldozers and knocked down the structures.

The businessman had claimed that the Nigerian High Commission’s staff quarters was being built on his land.

The man reportedly showed up last week with some pieces of evidence to support his claim.

However, he reportedly returned to the site on Friday in the company of armed men who supervised the demolition.

In a bid to stop the demolition, officials contacted the police who reportedly showed up at the site when the building was almost pulled down.

Efforts by Nigerian officials to alert the authorities failed until the aggressors had completed their mission.

Nigerian Government on Sunday demanded immediate actions be taken by Ghana authorities on the incident.

“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,” Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyema said.

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of the persons behind the attack and also apologised to Nigerian government.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

Nwonye said Akufo-Addo informed President Buhari that he had directed a full investigation of the unfortunate incident.

He stated: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo called President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR today, June 23, on the phone, to express his sincere regrets and apology for the demolition of a building on the premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this note wish to call on Nigerians home and abroad to remain calm despite the highly provocative attack on the High Commission of Nigeria in Accra, Ghana and to reassure Nigerians that the Federal Government is engaging the Ghanaian Authorities at the highest level to seek redress.”

Nwonye said that some suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned in court.

The latest attack is, however, not the first time that the residency of the Nigerian embassy in Ghana has been threatened by alleged intimidation from the host country.

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