Old Parliament House: Controversy Ensues as CHRAJ Demolishes Govt’ Legacy Building

The demolition of the Old Parliament House has gained much prominence in the media.

The structure which housed the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly from 1951, was reduced to rubbles in the early hours of Monday, September 11. The demolition comes Four years after fire destroyed portions of the building.

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The destruction of the building will pave the way for a new one to be constructed at a cost GH¢15 million.

This amount is said to be part of the budgetary allocation of GH¢37,816,401 approved by Parliament for the implementation of the activities and programs of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

CHRAJ Illegally Demolished Parliament House

The 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.

Speaking to Citi FM AMA Chief Executive, Adjei Sowah who said he was shocked upon hearing the news pointed out that CHRAJ failed to acquire the permit required for the demolition of a historic building.

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CHRAJ he said, had written to the Assembly to seek permission to demolish the structure. However, AMA did not immediately grant the permit but sought further engagements with CHRAJ on the matter.

The AMA boss said that his outfit will sit and discuss how best to handle the situation.

CHRAJ Replies

The Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal, has defended the Commission’s decision to pull down the Old Parliament House. Although the decision was without the permission of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), he said it was taken to protect the health and safety of the workers of CHRAJ.

He explained that since the burning in 2013, those sections have posed a health hazard to CHRAJ workers. According to him, “every person who works around those places knows that indeed this is unhealthy because we are breathing in the fumes and all those things.”

Joseph Whittal also pointed out Old Parliament House is still standing. He explained that the demolition only covered the old parliamentary chamber and the adjoining offices used by CHRAJ and the judgment debt commission.