The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for lands and forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, has received the reports on the circumstances surrounding the demolition of a building on a parcel of land in dispute between the Bulgarian Embassy and a private developer.
Receiving the report on behalf of the Sector Minister, Mr. Owusu-Bio expressed his profound gratitude to the Sole Inquirer, adding that the Ministry together with the Lands Commission and other stakeholders involved in the land case would peruse the reports provided and make available the contents in due course.
He hoped that per the expertise of the Sole Inquirer, the findings in the report themed Terms of Reference 1 and 2, will provide the needed information to guide matters surrounding the Bulgarian Embassy land case.
Touching on the case in question, the Deputy Minister said due to the urgency of the issue relating to the Bulgarian Embassy, the Minister gave the Sole Inquirer seven days to present a report on his Terms of Reference (1) and (2), however, due to the voluminous nature of the work, the Sole Inquirer sought for an extension which was granted by the Sector Minister.
Mr. Owusu-Bio said the Sole inquirer still has some grace period out of the one (1) month extension given to him to present a full report on Terms of Reference (3) to (5).
He also assured the public that the recommendations obtained in the report would be considered by the Ministry and the appropriate directives issued for further implementation.
On his part, the Sole Inquirer, Justice Retired Kwasi Anto Ofori-Atta said with the support of the Ministry and Lands Commission, he commenced his investigative work on March 21, 2022, with letters sent out to various entities and professional bodies involved in the case, to fish for information which will aid his investigative work.
He added that in response to these letters, 11 witnesses appeared to testify on the case and some had to be recalled for re-examination, all in an effort to arrive at the truth.
He said the current reports present findings and recommendations for the Terms of Reference (1) and (2) which he hopes will inform the Ministry’s decision on the case.
Justice Retired Ofori-Atta, a retired Justice of the High Court and a one time Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Lands Commission in his submission also expressed his gratitude to Government and the Minister for the confidence reposed in him and asked for continuous support to deliver reports on the other 3 terms of references.
The Sole Inquirer was inaugurated on Friday March 18, 2022 to investigate the circumstances surrounding the true ownership of some parcel of land in dispute between the Bulgarian Embassy and a private developer with terms of reference as follows;
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.
5. Make recommendations to Government.
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