Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, a Deputy Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board and some personnel from the Cantonments Police Station, have stirred a crisis between Ghana and Bulgaria for demolition the latter’s embassy here in Ghana.
This is happening at a time, the country is struggling to find resources to settle Nigeria over the demolishing of one of its properties here in Ghana.
In the recent case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was said to be aware of the activities of Dr Adu-Ampomah, a top financier of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the Bulgarian Embassy, which started sometime in 2017, but refused until now. He is mentioned to have done this with some officials of the Lands Commission.
Dr Adu-Ampomah, who currently is an appointee of President Akufo-Addo at NDPC, according to the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, led the Cantonments Police Station, to demolish the European country’s embassy.
Until recently, Dr Adu-Ampomah, was a Special Assistant to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Akoto Afriyie.
The North Tongu MP, sees the move as an aggressively mindless attack on the people of the European country, describing the perpetrators as deviants.
“We wait to see what action President Akufo-Addo would take against his appointee at NDPC, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah and his collaborators for this flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and for the international embarrassment their impunity has brought upon Ghana”, he charged.
The MP, made the attack known on his Facebook page yesterday, Tuesday, March 15, 2022, adding that the Honorary Consul, Mr Nicolaas C.M. van Staalduinen was also assaulted in his effort to restrain them.
“According to eyewitnesses, the 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 said.
“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.”
Mr Ablakwa, insists that the development amounts to courting war with the Bulgarians.
He said, the ‘mafia-style’ operation on the East Cantonment building is “even more shocking, exceedingly lawless, provocative.”
Attached to the Facebook post, was a series of correspondence between the Embassy, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the Lands Commission, concerning the restoration and affirmation efforts of the Embassy by Bulgarian authorities.
On the back of these, Mr Ablakwa, says the operation constitutes a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
He, however, revealed that the Minority, will demand a full-scale investigation into the “bizarre circumstances with the view to identifying all the conspirators and bringing them to justice.”
Back in 2020, armed men reportedly stormed the compound of the Nigerian High Commission compound in Accra and destroyed some buildings under construction.
This was after a businessman claimed that he owned the land where the building was being put up.
This sparked a row between the two countries, and President Akufo-Addo had to apologise for the unfortunate development.
He lamented a similar incident inflicted on the Nigerian Embassy in 2020, which according to him, more or less ruined the neighbourly relationship between that country and Ghana.
He went further to disclose that, to appease the Nigerian authorities, the Ghanaian taxpayer is currently funding the reconstruction of the Nigerian Embassy.
“The alarming culture of impunity which has become unrivaled in its audaciousness must not be allowed to fester.
“First, it was a brazen demolition of a Nigerian diplomatic property which predictably strained our bilateral relations with our West African neighbour, triggering a war of words and bringing us to the brink of conflict. Following a deescalation, the Ghanaian taxpayer, unbeknownst to many, is now spending millions of Cedis to restore the Nigerian diplomatic facility as adequate compensation.
“Now, in an even more shocking, exceedingly lawless, provocative and mafia-style operation — the Bulgarian Embassy in Accra at 10 Kakramadu Road, East Cantonments has been completely razed to the ground.
“According to eye witnesses, the 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 day light 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. 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.
“They subsequently returned at dawn to demolish the entire Embassy.
“The perpetrators are now building their own structure with the speed of light, at day and night, to conclude their nefarious mission.
This aggressively mindless attack is usually considered a declaration of war.
Without a scintilla of doubt, Ghana’s conduct amounts to a grotesque violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.
Article 22 of the Convention provides:
1. The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.
3. The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.
Credible and verified information point to the fact that all these grave violations have been possible because of a “powerful man” behind the invasion, demolishing, construction and purported takeover. I shall have him exposed in due course, save to add that those who consider themselves strategic allies of the Akufo-Addo presidency must reflect deeply on how their conduct will impact on the long term legacy of their most-favoured government.
Documents I have reviewed and some of which I would attach to this publication reveal how helpless the Foreign Ministry and the Lands Commission appear to be in this matter even after they have confirmed with incontrovertible evidence that the Bulgarians have a valid lease for a term of 50 years since 1983.
As a Ghanaian and Ranking Member on Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is terribly embarrassing to hear comments about this despicable scandal in diplomatic corridors and how another blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 with such reckless brute force is casting a slur on our hard won image in the comity of nations.
The NDC caucus in Parliament and the vast majority of law abiding Ghanaians would certainly not accept this detestable misconduct neither are we going to allow the criminal masterminds to get away with this.
I shall like to commend the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor for promising to take positive steps to halt the construction at the Bulgarian Embassy premises when I brought this to his attention yesterday.
May I add, though, that the unresponsiveness of Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to numerous queries from the Bulgarians, particularly after the Bulgarian government sent a delegation led by Ambassador Yanko Yordanov to Ghana last month, have been most unhelpful in easing tensions.
That notwithstanding, the NDC Caucus in Parliament shall be demanding a full public parliamentary probe into these bizarre circumstances 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.
While applauding the Bulgarians for their exceptional patience since coming under their first bulldozer attack at 3am on 26th April, 2017; it must be emphasized that a friendly country such as Bulgaria which shares rich historical ties with Ghana from the Nkrumah era, and has only recently announced a generous scholarship package for our student evacuees from Ukraine does not deserve to be subjected to crass lawlessness from a few corrupt nepotistic brigands determined to tarnish Ghana’s good name.
He later posted that “Government has just posted this notice at the demolished Bulgarian Embassy following my statement.
“We wait to see what action President Akufo-Addo would take against his appointee at NDPC, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah and his collaborators for this flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and for the international embarrassment their impunity has brought upon Ghana.
“The taxpayer must not be made to foot the Bulgarian compensation bills. Ghanaians did that for the Nigerian demolishing – we won’t accept that again. Enough is enough!
“Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah and his fellow conspirators must bear the entire cost of compensation and suffer the full consequences of their illegal conduct.
“Ghana would not be allowed to become a banana republic.