The Osu Traditional Council in Ghana on Monday laid claim to the parcel of land on which a building belonging to the Nigerian High Commission was pulled down last week.
According to the Osu council in a statement signed by Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, the owner of the property trespassed, adding that several attempts to prevent him from paying for the land had proved futile.
Some unknown persons, over the weekend, demolished a structure near the Nigerian High Commission.
The Nigerian government said the property belongs to its Mission in Ghana.
But reacting to the development, the Osu stool said in a statement that it has title to the parcel of land in question, which, it noted, is separate from that which is currently being occupied by the Nigerian High Commission.
It said the stool has a high level of respect for foreign missions and has, therefore, on several occasions, verbally informed the unidentified trespasser about the ownership status of the land through the security personnel resident on the parcel of land but he/she still went ahead to put up a structure.
The statement noted that “lands that fall within the entire Osu Mantse layout are not state lands but part of the Osu Paramount Stool Lands. As such, it is only the stool that has the mandate to grant leases, be it expired or otherwise.
“Forceful acquisition of these lands by trespassers who hide behind foreign offices and political influence” must stop.
Below is the full statement by the council:
TRESPASSING ON THE PARCEL OF LAND BELONGING TO THE OSU STOOL
The Paramount Chief of the Osu Traditional Area and the President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, wishes to make known to the general public that all that piece of land situate at West Ridge in the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana belonging to Osu Stool has been trespassed upon.
The said parcel of land and the entire Osu Mantse layout is not State Land but is a part of Osu Paramount Stool land and as such it is only the Stool that has the mandate to grant leases, be it expired or otherwise.
As such, the following should be noted:
• On 20th June, 2020 an article published by Joy Online claiming that armed men had demolished structure belonging to the Nigerian High Commission is wrong and has no justification.
• The said parcel of land is separate from that which is currently being occupied by the Nigerian High Commission
• It came to the attention of the Osu Stool that the original building on the parcel of land was demolished and, in its place, a new structure was being erected.
• Osu Stool was informed that the structure was being erected by a Nigerian business person with the aid of the Nigerian High Commission and was forcibly trying to take over the said parcel of land.
• The Osu Stool was also informed that the structure is planned entertainment complex to be used as an events center for commercial purposes and is not a block of flats as has been purported in the reportage.
• The Stool has a high level of respect for foreign missions and has therefore on several occasions verbally informed the unidentified trespasser of the ownership status of the land through the security personnel resident on the parcel of land.
• The Stool has subsequently sent messages inviting the trespasser for a discussion on the ownership of the land.
• There has till date been no response or acknowledgement in response to the stool’s invitation nor has the trespasser proceeded to submit any documentation of permission upon which it demolished the original structure on the land and proceeded to erect a new structure.
• The trespasser has openly and with impunity disrespected the paramount Chief of the Osu Traditional Area, Stool Lands Authority and the Traditional Council of Elders by its attendant behaviour.
• Authorities including officials from the Lands Commission, the Cantonments Police and Police Headquarters have invited the trespassers to produce documentation for the parcel of land.
• The intention of the trespasser is to forcibly take over land under the cover of diplomatic mission from the stool land without redress and without the permission of the traditional authority and its council of elders.
• It is known by the Osu Stool that the trespasser till date does not hold it its possession any documentation on the parcel land.
• The Osu Stool remains the owner of the said parcel of land and wishes to notify the general public that all other intended users of the property must first seek the permission of the stool.
• The stool informs the general public that there has never been a purchase of any parcel of land from it by the foreign office of the Nigerian High Commission.
• The Lands Commission has confirmed that the High Commission did not purchase the parcel of land from them.
• This is the second attempt to forcibly take over land that belongs to Osu Stool by unknown persons acting under the political influence of the Nigerian High Commission.
The Osu Stool, therefore, wishes to inform the General Public and all concerned that lands that fall within the entire Osu Mantse layout is not State Land but is a part of Osu Paramount Stool Lands. As such it is only the Stool that has the mandate to grant leases be it expired or otherwise. Forceful acquisition of these lands by trespassers who hide behind foreign offices and political influence should desist from doing so.
We entreat the media to be extremely cautious in their reportage and not to relay any messages of this sort with no research evidence or support documentation, relating to the confirmation of ownership of Osu Stool Lands.
Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI