Lands Minister appoints Justice Ofori-Atta as sole inquirer to inquire into Bulgarian Embassy land issue

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Lands Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor has appointed retired Justice of the High Court, Kwasi Anto Ofori-Atta, as the sole inquirer into the circumstances leading to the alleged encroachment and demolishing of property on the land being used by the Bulgarian Embassy.

The appointment of Justice Ofori-Atta became necessary after media reports, earlier this week, that a private developer has demolished the Bulgarian Embassy and is developing the land.

Lands Minister appoints Justice Ofori-Atta as sole inquirer to inquire into Bulgarian Embassy land issue
Retired Justice of the High Court, Kwasi Anto Ofori-Atta

Inaugurating the sole inquirer on Friday, March 18, 2022, at the Lands Ministry, the Minister said, following the media reports, a team from the Ministry, led by a Deputy Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio, visited the site to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the reports.

He said the team met a private developer on the site and ordered him to stop work until further notice.

Mr Jinapor said Government has no hand in the alleged demolishing exercise, and therefore the need, to commission full investigations into the matter.

He said the President, who was once the Minister for Foreign Affairs Regional Integration, will not authorise any action that will affect diplomatic relations or Ghana’s obligation under international law.

Lands Minister appoints Justice Ofori-Atta as sole inquirer to inquire into Bulgarian Embassy land issue
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor

He recalled the visit of President Akufo-Addo to Bulgaria in 2007, then as Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the resultant Protocol that was signed between the two countries to promote friendly relations and cooperation.

He added that Government is committed to maintaining the cordial relationship it keeps with Diplomatic Missions in the country.

Accordingly, the Sole Inquirer has also been tasked to inquire into all other matters relating to land in which Diplomatic Missions have an interest or which affects them, directly or indirectly.

Mr Ofori-Atta has seven days to present his findings on the Bulgarian Embassy issue, and one month to present his report on other lands issues that affect Diplomatic Missions.

Mr Jinapor expressed his confidence in the retired Judge, who has previously served as a member of the Ashanti Regional Lands Commission and a member of the Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of the Judicial Service, to conduct the inquiry and make appropriate recommendations to government.

Accepting his appointment, Mr Ofori-Atta thanked the Minister for the confidence reposed in him.

He assured the Minister that he will bring his experience to bear and to all that is necessary to furnish government with the full facts and recommendations.

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