Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, AMA boss
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is to meet over what it describes as the “illegal” demolition of the Old Parliament House by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
According to Accra Mayor, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, any sanction would be determined after the assembly meets to deliberate on the matter which he said took the assembly by surprise.
In an interview with Ghanaian Times yesterday, Mr Sowah said though the Commission applied for permit to knock down the historical landmark, the application was refused and was therefore surprised that CHRAJ went ahead to do so.
He explained that when CHRAJ applied for the permit on June 22, 2017, the assembly in its response, on July 27, 2017 asked the Commission to present additional documents.
The documents, Mr Sowah said included drawings of the project for which the Commission wanted to demolish the structure and proof of ownership since the building used to be the Assembly’s City Hall.
He said the need for further engagement with the Commission stemmed out of the fact that the building was a national asset and could not be demolished without government’s approval from the assembly as mandated by law.
Sited opposite the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra, the old parliament house has been demolished for the construction of a GH¢15 million edifice.
The project is being undertaken by CHRAJ as part of a budgetary allocation of GH¢37,816,401 approved by Parliament for the implementation of CHRAJ’s activities and programmes.
The demolition undertaken by Cymain Ghana Limited at the weekend comes four years after fire gutted sections of the more than 50 year old historical edifice in 2013.
The Parliament House was occupied by the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly from 1951 and later occupied by members of parliament during Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s time until 1981.
Before the December 2013 fire incident, it housed the Citizens Vetting Committee (CVC), the Judgement Debt Commission, the CHRAJ and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
A section of Ghanaians, including tourism operators and historians believe the building could have been preserved for historical and tourism purposes.
By Jonathan Donkor
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