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General News of Tuesday, 12 September 2017


AMA fights CHRAJ over demolition of old Parliament House

Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has declared as illegal the decision of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to demolish the Old Parliament House on the High Street in Accra. The AMA said CHRAJ failed to acquire the permit required for the demolition of a historic building.

Many Ghanaians yesterday woke up to the shocking news of the demolition of the structure which housed the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly from 1951 when Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became the leader of Government Business under British rule.

The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra, Adjei Sowah, in an interview on Citi Breakfast Show in Accra yesterday, said the news of the demolition came to him as a “surprise.”

According to him, CHRAJ, which occupies some offices in the building complex, had written to the Assembly to seek permission to demolish the structure.

He said the AMA did not immediately grant the permit but sought further engagements with CHRAJ on the matter.

“It has come to me as a surprise because sometime last month CHRAJ wrote a letter to us indicating their intention to demolish the property… so we wrote back to them that the property in question is a national asset and it is important that we get clearance from the government because that particular property was once an AMA property where it was a City Hall. Then they wrote back to us about a week ago that they were established by an act of parliament and were given that property,” he said.

“We are yet to meet to respond to that… I have not heard anything from them again. We are actually in a meeting with my management discussing the matter.

State agencies should also know better and act in accordance with law that if you want to pull down that building you need a permit from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly before you do that and they have not gotten the permit yet before acting on that, ”he added.

He said the unilateral decision by CHRAJ warrants a punitive measure but added members of the Assembly were meeting to take a decision on their line of action.