October 7, 2022

Ablakwa Resurrects Bulgarian Embassy Demolition With Enquirer Report Excerpt

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has brought back the issue relating to the 2017 demolition of the Bulgarian Embassy located at Kakramadu Road, Plot No. 10, East Cantonments in Accra following his interception of the sole inquirer’s report.

On March 18, 2022, the Minister for Land and Natural resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor appointed Justice Kwasi A. Ofori-Atta as Sole Inquirer to probe the “mindless” demolition of the embassy.

On April 26, 2022, the report was presented to the Ministry but the content of the report was not made public with the excuse that the report is being studied.

Until yesterday, the issue was lost in the public domain.

In a social media post, the North Tongu legislator revealed he had gotten hold of the “ full, unredacted and absolutely unimpeachable report”.

He noted that the report points to one Mr Albert Jojo Hagan as the catalyst behind the demolition, however, he is nowhere to be found.

According to him, the report states that he wasn’t available for the investigations of the sole inquirer and efforts to reach him failed.

“Because of the pivotal role Mr. Jojo Hagan played in the eviction of the occupiers of the premises who he described as trespassers and the demolition of the property, his presence before the Inquiry was necessary. However, all efforts to reach him on his mobile number were unsuccessful. His lawyer, Mr. Frederick Asamoah told the Inquiry that he had lost touch with him. Dr. Yaw Adu-Ampomah to whom Jojo Hagan assigned the subject matter could also not help as he didn’t know of his whereabouts”, paragraph 51 of the Sole Inquirer’s report is quoted to have said.

Additionally, he said page 114 of the report attested to the fact that a lawyer to the late uncle of Jojo expressed his “frustrations in locating the elusive and notorious” Jojo Hagan.

He quotes the report to have said, “10W Okay my Lord. I was approached by one Rita Leighton in 2017 who is the daughter of Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton, a former Diplomat. He is deceased. After Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton had died, his Will was to be read but his nephew called Jojo Hagan was playing games with the family and said their father had prepared another Will which was deposited in the Cape coast High Court Registry. So, he got the Registry to read the Will but the Will deposited in Accra was totally different from the Cape Coast one. The one deposited in Accra was signed by Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton on the 5th of December, 1988. Jojo Hagan visited me in my office and was incoherent with what he was telling me. I then issued a writ against Jojo Hagan because he had a second Will with a forged signature so I wanted him to be served but could not be found. This is a copy of the writ I issued against him which is Exhibit BA 1. We could not get Jojo Hagan to serve him for one whole year and so we thought of renewing the writ but at that time, half of the building had been demolished on the instructions of Jojo Hagan on the grounds that, some squatters had taken over the property.

“10W So, we were still looking for Jojo to serve him without success but later realized that there were workers on the Land so I tried to get who Jojo sold the Land to because, we knew he wanted to do so. He also had a briefcase containing Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton’s chequebooks, bank statements and all other vital documents and would not give it to anyone. So, because we got to know that there were workers on the Land, I was determined to look for the person who bought the land. We went to the Police Headquarters, Property Fraud Unit where I reported this issue which they refused to give me a copy of the search report which I asked for because they claimed the Land belonged to a big man. So, I went to the Lands Commission to put in a request for a search report. So, this is the copy of Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton’s Will I used in Court which is Exhibit BA2.”

The lawmaker recalls that Samuel Jinapor after receiving the report assured the nation that “Mr. Jojo Hagan should be sanctioned for not following due process in the eviction of the alleged trespassers and the demolition of the building and should be made to compensate the Bulgarian Embassy”

“Minister Jinapor added: “I have also written to the Honourable Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, to advise the Ministry in respect of recommendation one (1) of the Sole Inquirer..” For the avoidance of doubt, recommendation 1 refers to the sanctioning of the said Jojo Hagan”.

Ablakwa is curious about why the government is concealing the fact that the perpetrator has bolted and has been declared wanted.

“Why has government concealed the fact that the Chief Perpetrator who demolished the Bulgarian Embassy, Mr. Albert Jojo Hagan is on the run? Why is government not declaring Mr. Jojo Hagan wanted and mounting a massive manhunt for his arrest? Why did government conceal this vital information from the public and why is government pretending it is about to sanction a man who apparently has mysteriously disappeared from the surface of this Earth after demolishing an embassy and profiting from same? How are the Bulgarians going to be compensated by Jojo Hagan as the Sole Inquirer recommends and as government accepts when Jojo Hagan cannot be found?

“What is the guarantee that suffering Ghanaian taxpayers would not be made to pay for the criminal and reckless conduct of Jojo Hagan and his collaborators as happened when Nigerian High Commission properties were demolished, considering that government has no genuine interest in going after and apprehending Jojo Hagan? And Why did the Sole Inquirer and government so easily accept the rather unconvincing explanations from Jojo Hagan’s lawyer and Dr. Adu Ampomah about their sudden inability to reach Jojo Hagan?”.

Below Is The Full Statement:
THE INTERCEPTED SOLE INQUIRER’S REPORT ON THE DEMOLISHED BULGARIAN EMBASSY AND HOW GOVERNMENT DECEPTIVELY FAILED TO DISCLOSE TO GHANAIANS THAT THE CHIEF PERPETRATOR, MR. ALBERT JOJO HAGAN IS ON THE RUN
I can announce that I have intercepted the full, unredacted and irrefutable report of the Sole Inquirer on the despicable demolishing of the Bulgarian Embassy.
Since receiving the Sole Inquirer’s report some six months ago, government has treated it like a nuclear code, and has flagrantly refused to publish the report despite popular agitations for the full report to be made public.
In the true spirit of transparency, accountability and international best practice, I shall dutifully and immediately make copies of the report available to the Ghanaian people including the media and civil society organisations.
It is important to salute and celebrate the very few patriots and heroes within the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government who put country above party, justice above injustice and truth above deception by continuously taking great risk to collaborate with us behind the scenes on this and other significant investigations which we pursue in the utmost national interest and in fulfillment of our oversight constitutional mandate.
As is well known, on March 15, 2022, I went public on the mindless demolishing of the Bulgarian Embassy. I also revealed the impunity with which the masterminds were building on the encroached land, and subsequently took the press on a tour of the criminal construction site for further validation.
The embarrassing public exposure compelled government to issue a stop work notice, even though the developer, Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah, the President’s appointee at NDPC initially flouted the order with utter contempt.
On behalf of the NDC Caucus in Parliament, I demanded an independent enquiry into the scandal which government eventually heeded and appointed Justice Kwasi A. Ofori-Atta as Sole Inquirer on March 18, 2022.
The Sole Inquirer completed work on its first task relating to the demolishing of the Bulgarian Embassy, albeit after requesting an extension, and submitted its report to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor on the 26th of April, 2022.
Some six months after receiving this report of considerable public interest, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has defied all good governance dictates and blatantly refused to publish the Justice Ofori-Atta report.
Our spirited efforts both in Parliament and outside Parliament, particularly through a Right to Information request I caused my lawyers to file at the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry on May 26, 2022 have all been unsuccessful as top government officials who are expected to be transparent public servants have done everything in their power to deliberately obstruct and conceal the Sole Inquirer’s report.
Having now secured the full, unredacted and absolutely unimpeachable report, it is as clear as crystal why the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has done everything under the sun to conceal the Sole Inquirer’s report from the Ghanaian people.
Government has consciously refused to inform the Ghanaian public that the chief perpetrator of the illegal demolition as identified by the Sole Inquirer, one Mr. Albert Jojo Hagan has been on the run and could not be located by the Sole Inquirer.
Let me share with you, the bombshell paragraph 51 of the Sole Inquirer’s report which government doesn’t want Ghanaians to discover: “Because of the pivotal role Mr. Jojo Hagan played in the eviction of the occupiers of the premises who he described as trespassers and the demolition of the property, his presence before the Inquiry was necessary. However, all efforts to reach him on his mobile number was unsuccessful. His lawyer, Mr. Frederick Asamoah told the Inquiry that he had lost touch with him. Dr. Yaw Adu-Ampomah to whom Jojo Hagan assigned the subject matter could also not help as he didn’t know of his whereabouts.”
When lawyer Bright Akwetey also appeared before the Sole Inquirer on April 14, 2022, he expressed his frustrations on locating the elusive and notorious Jojo Hagan as contained at page 114 of the report:
“10W Okay my Lord. I was approached by one Rita Leighton in 2017 who is the daughter of Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton, a former Diplomat. He is deceased. After Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton had died, his Will was to be read but his nephew called Jojo Hagan was playing games with the family and said their father had prepared another Will which was deposited in Cape coast High Court Registry. So, he got the Registry to read the Will but the Will deposited in Accra was totally different from the Cape Coast one. The one deposited in Accra was signed by Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton on the 5th of December, 1988. Jojo Hagan visited me in my office and was incoherent with what he was telling me. I then issued a writ against Jojo Hagan because he had a second Will with a forged signature so I wanted him to be served but could not be found. This is a copy of the writ I issued against him which is Exhibit BA 1. We could not get Jojo Hagan to serve him for one whole year and so we thought of renewing the writ but at that time, half of the building had been demolished on the instructions of Jojo Hagan on the grounds that, some squatters had taken over the property.
Sole Inquirer: Writ of Summons admitted as Exhibit BA 1
10W So, we were still looking for Jojo to serve him without success but later realized that there were workers on the Land so I tried to get who Jojo sold the Land to because, we knew he wanted to do so. He also had a brief case containing Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton’s cheque books, bank statements and all other vital documents and would not give it to anyone. So, because we got to know that there were workers on the Land, I was determined to look for the person who bought the land. We went to the Police Headquarters, Property Fraud Unit where I reported this issue which they refused to give me a copy of the search report which I asked for because they claimed the Land belonged to a big man. So, I went to the Lands Commission to put in a request for a search report. So, this is the copy of Mr. Theophilus Kofi Leighton’s Will I used in Court which is Exhibit BA2.”
Curiously, Government has proceeded on this matter as though Jojo Hagan was in their grip. Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor issued his May 16, 2022 statement after receiving the Sole Inquirer’s report, assuring the nation that government has accepted the Sole Inquirer’s recommendation that: “Mr. Jojo Hagan should be sanctioned for not following due process in the eviction of the alleged trespassers and the demolition of the building and should be made to compensate the Bulgarian Embassy”
Minister Jinapor added: “I have also written to the Honourable Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, to advice the Ministry in respect of recommendation one (1) of the Sole Inquirer..” For the avoidance of doubt, recommendation 1 refers to the sanctioning of the said Jojo Hagan.
The following fundamental questions therefore arise:

  1. Why has government concealed the fact that the Chief Perpetrator who demolished the Bulgarian Embassy, Mr. Albert Jojo Hagan is on the run?
  2. Why is government not declaring Mr. Jojo Hagan wanted and mounting a massive manhunt for his arrest?
  3. Why did government conceal this vital information from the public and why is government pretending it is about to sanction a man who apparently has mysteriously disappeared from the surface of this Earth after demolishing an embassy and profiting from same?
  4. How are the Bulgarians going to be compensated by Jojo Hagan as the Sole Inquirer recommends and as government accepts when Jojo Hagan cannot be found?
  5. What is the guarantee that suffering Ghanaian taxpayers would not be made to pay for the criminal and reckless conduct of Jojo Hagan and his collaborators as happened when Nigerian High Commission properties were demolished, considering that government has no genuine interest in going after and apprehending Jojo Hagan?
  6. Why did the Sole Inquirer and government so easily accept the rather unconvincing explanations from Jojo Hagan’s lawyer and Dr. Adu Ampomah about their sudden inability to reach Jojo Hagan?
  7. When Jojo Hagan couldn’t be reached via phone, why was there no effort to put out public notices and media announcements as credible alternatives to get through to him or to seek the assistance of the general public in finding him?
  8. Why should we not believe that Jojo Hagan’s strange disappearance and government’s shocking silence and nonchalance isn’t the fruit of a well-orchestrated conspiracy to cover up?
    The 149-page report equally exposes the rot at the Lands Commission even though the Sole Inquirer did not cover himself in glory by his unhelpful resort to exhortation instead of identifying the bad nuts who have now gained notoriety by their nefarious activities for reprimand. It is not clear if his former role as Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Lands Commission compromised his objectivity. No serious country would establish that Lands Commission officials have engaged in multiple misconducts including double registration of the same land and fraudulent cancellation of land title certificate of the Bulgarians as the Sole Inquirer reveals in his report and yet he recommends no punishment. In a bizarre twist, Justice Ofori-Atta only urged officials at the Lands Commission to be meticulous.
    It is equally disheartening to note from the report that some elements within the judiciary perverted the course of justice and contributed greatly in muddying the waters. The report only confirmed that judicial corruption is real. If gold rusts, what shall iron do?
    The Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government stands terribly exposed on this matter. They should be informing Ghanaians where Jojo Hagan is hiding and what steps are being pursued to arrest him, prosecute him and make him pay adequate compensation to the Bulgarians. This time, the Ghanaian taxpayer would not pay for this mess as we were cajoled to do in the Nigerian demolishing.
    So far, due to government’s seeming complicity in the mysterious Jojo Hagan disappearance narrative and their lack of interest in finding him, government has failed in keeping its pledge to the Bulgarians to secure compensation for the illegal demolition of their embassy, and their patience appears to be running out.
    The acute trust and integrity deficit in this government does not only manifest in the galamsey crisis, it has plagued the entire administration.
    God save our Republic.

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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