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Nigeria-Ghana diplomatic row: Ghana faults Nigeria’s closure of borders, Buhari’s Executive Order

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The continued closure of Nigeria’s borders may be at the center of Ghana’s maltreatment of Nigeria’s traders in that country as well as the simmering diplomatic row between the two countries.

Nigerian government had last week warned that it may no longer condone the unfriendly attitude of Ghanaians towards Nigerians doing business in their country.

Ghana, however, faulted the claims by the Nigerian government, insisting that Nigerians are not being singled out for maltreatment.

The Ghanaian government faulted Nigeria’s border closure and the Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari preventing foreigners from getting jobs which Nigerians can do.

In a statement on Sunday, Ghana’s Minister of Information Endkojo Oppong Nkrumah, debunked the issues outlined by the Nigerian government in a statement on Friday.

Nkruma, noted that the issues raised by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, did not truly reflect the developments in Ghana.

According to him, it is on record that Nigeria has taken a number of steps in recent months, in pursuit of its national interests, which he said have gravely affected other countries in the West African region.

“These include the closure of Nigeria’s Seme-Krake border from August 2019 to date and the issuance of executive orders by Nigeria’s Presidency, preventing foreigners from getting jobs, which Nigerians can do, to mention but a few.

“Ghana and other West African countries continue to believe redress to even actions like these can be sought, diplomatically, without resort to media statements and related activities that have the potential to aggravate further the situation,” he said.

Nkrumah said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve whatever issue affecting both countries.

In a point-by-point response to each of the allegations, raised by Mohammed.

“Ghana remains committed to the maintenance of warm relations with all sister nations, particularly, for well-known historical reasons, with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and will proceed to engage the Federal Government of Nigeria with a view to resolving comprehensively and exhaustively any matters that have the potential to sour relations between the two countries.

“Ghana finds it imperative, however, from the outset, to state, for the public record, that the outline of issues by my Nigerian counterpart is not reflective of the developments in Ghana. Any protests, decisions or actions based on these reports will, thus, be unjustified.”

Nkrumah stated he was obliged, “therefore, as a first step, to provide our counterparts, as well as the Ghanaian and Nigerian publics, with a more reflective account of events, even as we pursue substantive diplomatic engagements to resolve matters”.

On the seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes Road, Accra, which Mohammed said had been used as diplomatic premises by the Nigerian Government for almost 50 years, he said: “This statement is inaccurate. The transaction was a commercial arrangement between Thomas D. Hardy, a private citizen and the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana on 23rd October 1959.

“The terms of the commercial lease expired 46 years ago, without any evidence of renewal by the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana. The Government of Ghana was not involved in the transaction and has not seized the property in question.”

He noted that Ghana “does not, did not and never owned the land, and has not been involved in the seizure of any property of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana.

“The land in question is owned by the Osu Stool and managed by the Lands Commission”, the Ghanaian Information minister said.

In response to the claim that the lease on some of the properties owned by the Ghana Mission in Nigeria has long expired, he said: “It must be noted that the Ghana Government 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. The staff of the Ghana High Commission in Abuja have been living there since the construction of the current structures.”

On demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, which allegedly constitutes another serious breach of the Vienna Convention, Nkrumah explained: “This statement is not factual. A 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.

“The High Commission failed to acquire the Lease and Land Title Certificate, which constitute documentation for the said property as well as a building permit for construction. In Ghana, land is owned not only by the government, but also by stools and families.

“The demolition of the property was not carried out by agents of the Ghanaian Government, but by agents of the Osu Stool. Nonetheless, the Government of Ghana, valuing the relations between our two countries, has decided to restore the property, at its own cost, to its original state for the Nigerian High Commission, and has duly communicated same to the Nigerian Authorities.”

On the allegation of aggressive and deportation of Nigerians from Ghana between January 2018 and February last year, the minister also denied it, saying: “This statement is not factual. In 2019, 700 Nigerians, who were found to have been involved in criminal activities such as fraud, prostitution, armed robbery etc., were deported.”

On residency permit requirement, he said: “It must be noted that all foreigners who apply for resident permit in Ghana, pay same fees as stated above. These fees are not specific to Nigerians.”

Responding to the allegation of media war, he said: “The statement is not factual. There is no media war against Nigerians in Ghana. There is also 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.

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Jilted taxi driver commits suicide after killing girlfriend who dumped him

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An investigation into the death of a 45-year-old taxi driver identified as Emmanuel Kwakye and his alleged girlfriend Georgina Lamisi Awuni Sayel has been initiated by the police in Cape Coast.

Kwakye’s lifeless body was found hanging on a tree at Bronyibima M.A. Basic school on Tuesday, September 22, while Sayel was also found dead in his room, a development that fueled suspicion of him committing suicide after killing his girlfriend of three years who ended their relationship.

The bodies were discovered after Kwakye’s friend filed a missing person complaint with the University of Cape Coast’s police station, Ghana.

It was gathered that a deep stab wound was found on Lamisi’s left rib with her bra and dress stained with blood. Further checks in the room revealed a kitchen knife with a bloodstain on it.

 

Jilted taxi driver commits suicide after killing girlfriend who dumped him

 

Insiders alleged that Kwakye and Lamisi dated for three years and he allegedly sponsored her tertiary education at the Ola College of Education in Cape Coast. Upon completing her tertiary education, Lamisi ended their relationship and left Kwakye heartbroken.

It is speculated that the jilted man killed his girlfriend out of vengeance as all effort to get her back was futile. Their bodies have been deposited at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital Mortuary.

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#Coup: ECOWAS court hears on Mali sanctions Friday

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The ECOWAS Court of Justice will on Friday begin hearing of the suit instituted by two Malian groups challenging the legality of the August 18, 2020 sanctions imposed on Mali following the military coup against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

A statement by the media unit of the ECOWAS Court stated that the suit was instituted by the two groups on September 9, 2020, against the ECOWAS Commission and Ivory Coast, one of the countries implementing the sanctions via closure of borders against Mali.
The statement added that the plaintiffs, Malian Coalition and the Consumers Association of Mali, both registered in the country, had filed interlocutory applications that would be heard on Friday.

The plaintiffs prayed the court in the applications to issue orders suspending the sanctions which were announced by the ECOWAS Commission and for the accelerated hearing of the substantive suit challenging the sanctions.

In the suit marked ECW/CCJ/APP/36/20, the two associations claimed that the President of the Commission acted ultra vires in imposing the sanctions, as the procedure was not in conformity with the relevant ECOWAS texts under which sanctions should be brought against member states for failure to honour their obligations to the Community as this is reserved for Heads of State and Government of the Community.

The plaintiffs, who are being represented by Mr Modibo Diakite, Mr Oumar Tounkara, Mr Abdrahamane Diallo. Mr Maxime Poma and the law firm of SCP d’Avocats Do-Fini Consult claimed that the sanctions, which were enforced by neighbours Ivory Coast and Niger with the closure of their borders, were negatively impacting on a population already “bruised by insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic as well as poor governance.”

The groups claimed that the sanctions constitute not only the violation of the right of the people of Mali to the freedom of movement guaranteed in ECOWAS texts but also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the economic, social, and cultural rights of Malian citizens in the community as well as their right to non-discrimination.

Among the reliefs sought is an order for the payment of compensation for prejudices suffered in the sum of 1,000,000 CFA francs for each individual, another 10,000,000 CFA francs for each legal person as well as the payment of the same amount for the violation of human rights.

They also prayed the court to order Ivory Coast to pay a symbolic 1 CFA to the plaintiffs for the violation of their human rights through the discriminatory treatment of Malians.
The statement added, “A three-member panel of the court comprising Honorable Justices Dupe Atoki (presiding), Keikura Bangura and Januária Tavares Silva Moreira Costa will hear the case.

“The proceeding can be followed via “Zoom” using the ID: 849 4983 1562 with the passcode: 650799 on Friday, September 25, 2020 by 10am.”

 

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Eiffel Tower evacuated for two hours after bomb threat —Police

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The Eiffel Tower in Paris was evacuated for two hours Wednesday after an anonymous caller threatened to blow up the great edifice in the heart of the French capital, police said.

After an inspection, nothing suspicious was found and the Eiffel Tower was able to reopen to visitors.

“A man phoned up, shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ and said he was going to ‘blow up everything’” at the Eiffel Tower, said a police source, who asked not to be named.

A security cordon was put around the monument, traffic diverted and the Eiffel Tower evacuated at 12:15 pm (1015 GMT).

Its operator SETE said in a statement that after a thorough search nothing was found and the tower was able to reopen at 2:15 pm.

The monument had reopened on June 26 after its longest closure since World War II forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Eiffel Tower usually receives about seven million visitors a year, some three-quarters from abroad, although even after reopening numbers are down sharply due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic.

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