Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama has said officials of Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana, committed an error that culminated in the demolition of a structure within the premises of the High Commission.
The minister noted that the officials failed to take necessary action to get requisite documents for ownership of the parcel of land the structure was built on.
But he emphasised that such error was not an enough reason for the pulling down of the building by a Ghanaian businessman last weekend.
Onyeama said the Ghanaian government had assumed responsibility for the demolition and promised to rebuild the structure to its original level.
The minister, who addressed reporters on the resolution between Nigeria and Ghana on the demolition, said the Nigerian High Commission failed to obtain legal title for the land, which it had paid for in Year 2000.
Besides, the minister said it also failed to obtain necessary approvals before erecting the building.
“It was clearly a mistake on our side. What the Ghanaians said is that owing to the fact that our High Commission did not obtain a lease, following the allocation letter they got after paying for the plot of land, nor did we proceed to obtain a land title certificate and we didn’t even get a building permit for the new property.
“When other people came claiming ownership of the land, the commission did not see anything in the register because the lease title had not been obtained. It is clearly an error on the side of our High Commission.
“We would learn from that. But clearly, our documenting and record-keeping and processes would need to be sharpened. In terms of how we deal with our officers, this is something that happened in 2000. That was 20 years ago.
“The officials are no longer in service. We rather just learn from our mistake and ensure we have more rigour whenever we are engaging in legal issues in all our missions.
“The Ghanaian government has directed the necessary administrative procedures that were not followed should be done now, meaning that title deeds be formerly given to the High Commission of Nigeria since the documentary proof acknowledged by the Ghanaian land registry of receipt of payment on the property has been done many years ago.”