A former deputy CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, who is now an appointee of the President Nana Akufo-Addo at the National Development Planning Commission, according to North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, is using his connections within government to brazenly, in a “lawless, provocative and mafia-style”, trespass on the Bulgarian Embassy property by first using state power to evict the embassy staff and then bulldozing it to the ground.
A new private property was then started on the land.
Mr Ablakwa, who is the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, first raised the issue on Facebook and then followed with a visit to the site on Wednesday, 16 March 2022.
He told the media during his tour of the site: “An inquiry should be done into this matter”, adding that an “eyewitness confirms that the demolition happened, stating clearly that this Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, using his strong connections in this, was able to marshal elements and forces in the state and used it to his advantage.”
“I would be interested in the complicity that has brought this colossal shame upon us as a country. A keen inquiry into the case, involving this self-acclaimed titled man and his accomplices, should be pulled up and punished. We must insist that they pay the cost of compensation.”
Mr Okudzeto also took a swipe at the government’s response to the matter although he acknowledge that a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs had been working on the issue.
“Yes, I heard the Minister was here, and I know he was here to stop the ongoing construction, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not done enough to prevent this in the first place. I am not impressed with how they have responded to this issue. They were given adequate intelligence that this would happen. If you have spoken with the Bulgarians, they were threatened, the people were forcing them out, and they relayed their ordeal to the Foreign Ministry. How is it that the Ministry appeared helpless all this while?” he asked.
“We don’t feel safe in this country, and diplomats don’t feel safe, particularly as this came in right after the Nigerian incident. They don’t care about our international image and the ties that we have with other countries.”
The Lands Commission has confirmed that the Bulgarians have a lease that expires in 2033.
“This time, we wouldn’t allow the taxpayers to bear the cost of compensations, and reconstruction as it happened during the Nigerian demolition; the perpetrators must be made to bear the full cost”, Mr Ablakwa said.
In an earlier post on Facebook, Mr Ablakwa expressed anger that the Embassy that sat on the piece of property at 10 Kakramadu Road, East Cantonments, Accra was completely razed in a “lawless, provocative and mafia-style operation”.
According to Mr Ablakwa, information available to him indicated that “armed rogue elements with extra fortification from deviant land guards and errant personnel allegedly from the Cantonments Police Station had the sheer effrontery in broad daylight, to evict Bulgarian Embassy staff, throw out inviolable assets belonging to the Bulgarians and assault the Honorary Consul, Mr Nicolaas C.M. van Staalduinen in his effort to restrain them.”
He noted that valuables including generators, computers, printers, refrigerators, archival documents which represent a treasure trove of deep historical bonds and a stash of vital diplomatic exchanges were not spared by the marauding encroachers.
Ablakwa said the encroachers returned at dawn to demolish the entire Embassy and were now building their own structure with the speed of light during daytime and at night, to conclude their mission.
He said this “aggressively mindless attack” is usually considered a declaration of war.
He observed that without a scintilla of doubt, Ghana’s conduct amounts to a “grotesque violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961”.
He noted that the NDC Caucus in Parliament shall be demanding a full public parliamentary probe into the demolished building with the view to identifying all the conspirators and bringing them to justice.
“We shall not allow the shadowy characters behind this hideous act to enjoy the comfort and security of anonymity; we shall smoke them and their collaborators out, and ensure that never again would a few greedy bandits damage our hitherto high diplomatic reputation,” he stated.