Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has revealed that it will cost Ghana $50 million to rebuild the Judicial Training Institute which was demolished to make way for the National Cathedral.
According to him, the compensation for the Judicial Training Institute and other institutions whose properties were demolished has been omitted from the plans outlined by the National Cathedral Secretariat.
Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Ablakwa stated that the Chief Justice had earlier initiated plans to rebuild the $50 million Institute; but his attempts have proven futile.
“The Judicial Training Institute was demolished, it is going to cost Ghana $50 million to replace that. This is what the judicial service has put together. The Chief Justice has been negotiating with the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, those negotiations have broken down. The bank has walked away, they are not really interested”, he said.
The MP added that “they have now opened talks with the World Bank. So when you tell us that the role of the state is just the appointment of the architect and design team, you are not being particularly candid. The government continues with this opacity and lack of full disclosure of this project”.
Apart from the Judiciary, he said government needs to compensate many people, including the real estate company, Water Stone Realty.
He also revealed that government only managed to find the company a new property two years after their building was demolished.
However, despite being allocated a new property in 2020, Water Stone Realty has been unable to move into the property because its old occupants, who claim to be with the National Security, have failed to move.
“You move in, you demolish this property, the people asked for more time and you declined. They had bought this land for $2.5 million, they have employed over 100 people and these are upmarket luxury apartments.
They were making profits of about GHS2million a month. You demolish all. it took the government two good years to offer them 1.26 acres which was even less than what they demolished. Now they have served notice they are going to court and they are going to compound the four-year losses”.
His comments come in the wake of the controversy surrounding the relevance or otherwise of the National Cathedral following the revelation that an amount of GH¢142 million was released for the construction of the National Cathedral in 2020.
In a social media post on Wednesday, June 8, the lawmaker said so far, GH¢200 million illegal funds have been released for the project.
Controversies arose again when Mr Ablakwa revealed during the week that Founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Dr Mensa Otabil, has stopped attending meetings of the National Cathedral Board of Trustees.
Speaking on The Probe on JoyNews, on Sunday, Mr. Ablakwa asserted that the desertion by the theologian is due to the illegality being perpetrated by the Akufo-Addo government with respect to the project.
Meanwhile, on Newsfile, Mr Ablwakwa stated that apart from the monies spent by the government, the relocation of companies and entities have cost the country about $100 million.
He therefore reiterated that government needs to come clean on its expenditure for the Cathedral.
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