… Says 700 Nigerians Were Arrested For Cybercrime
… Seeks To Boost Diplomatic Ties With Nigeria
The Ghanaian government has replied certain accusations of harassments levelled against it by Nigeria. It claimed to be innocent of the accusations.
In a six-page statement, sent by the Ghana’s Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Nkrumah, the issues are very critical to the future of Nigeria’s cordial relationship with Ghana, hence a need to swiftly resolve them.
Recall that Nigeria had, last Friday, alleged history of hostilities and harassments committed by Ghana against Nigerian interests and Nigerians and declared that it would no longer tolerate future unfriendly acts.
In a statement by Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian government announced it was urgently considering “a number of options at ameliorating the situation.”
Nkrumah denied most of the allegations, saying they did not reflect the true state of affairs.
Following Nigeria’s subtle threat to take counter-actions, Nkrumah said: “Any protest, decision, or action based on Lai’s statement will thus be unjustified.”
‘We Didn’t Seize Nigeria’s Mission Building’
On the accusation against Ghana on the alleged seizure of the Nigerian mission’s property located at 10, Barnes Road, Accra, which was being used as diplomatic premises by the Nigerian government for almost 50 years, Ghana stated that while the accusation is inaccurate, the transaction was a commercial arrangement between Thomas D. Hardy, a private citizen and the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana on October 23, 1959.
The terms of the Commercial Lease, according to the statement, expired 46 years ago without any evidence of renewal by the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana.
The Government of Ghana said it was not involved in the transaction and had not seized the property in question.
The Ghanaian minister said that the Government of Ghana “does not, did not and never owned the land”, and had not been involved in the seizure of any property of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana. The land in question, it said, is owned by the Osu Stool and managed by the Lands Commission.
‘Our Mission Building In Nigeria Fully Acquired, Not On Lease’
In response to the claim that the lease on some of the property owned by the Ghana Mission in Nigeria has long expired, Ghana noted that it acquired a freehold land at Pope John Paul II Street in Abuja in 1989 through a commercial arrangement, and built the current structures on it, stating that members of staff of the Ghana High Commission in Abuja have been living there since the construction of the current structures.
‘Demolition Of Nigeria’s Mission Building Spurred By Nigeria’s Failure To Document Building 20 Years After Land Purchase’
Also, on the accusation of demolition of the Nigerian mission’s property located at 19/21, Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, which constitutes another serious breach of the Vienna Convention, the Ghanaian minister said the statement was not factual.
He stated that search at the Lands Commission indicated that the Nigerian High Commission failed to complete the documentation process after paying for the land in the year 2000.
‘700 Nigerians Were Involved In Cybercrime’
Reacting to the issue of incessant deportation, Mr Nkrumah said the position of Mr Mohammed that 825 Nigerians were deported from Ghana in 2017, 2018 and 2019 was not correct.
“This statement is not factual. In 2019, seven hundred (700) Nigerians, who were found to have been involved in criminal activities such as fraud, prostitution, armed robbery etc., were deported.”
‘Exorbitant Residency Permits’
Commenting on the accusations of exorbitant fees being charged for residency permit, Nkrumah indicated that all foreigners, who apply for the permit in Ghana, pay the same fees as stated above and that they are not specific to Nigerians only.
‘No Media War Against Nigerians’
He also denied any media war against Nigerians in Ghana, saying there is no negative reportage on Nigerian residents in Ghana by Ghanaian media, which could potentially lead to xenophobic attitude towards Nigerians, particularly Nigerian traders in Ghana.
He added that no Nigerian trader has been arrested.
“The closure of shops was as a result of infractions on Ghanaian laws. Even then, those affected who are not only Nigerians, have been given ample time to regularise their documents. Furthermore, no Nigerian-owned shops are currently closed,” he stated.
‘Seeking To Boost Diplomatic Ties’
The minister, however, promised that President Nana Akufo-Addo will engage President Muhammadu Buhari with a view to developing immediately a framework for validating the claims of ill-treatment of citizens of either country, and ensure citizens enjoy the full exercise of their rights.Follow us on social media