Indiscriminate sale of school lands in T’di
BNI, police begin investigations Both the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service have begun intensive investigations into the story carried by The Chronicle about a month ago that school lands were being sold indiscriminately to private developers, especially churches in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.
Information available to The Chronicle indicates that the BNI had already gone to the schools mentioned in the story, including the Axim Road Key Primary School, to interview officials of the school about the alleged sale of the school lands.
The BNI, The Chronicle learnt, also interviewed the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of the affected schools as part of the investigation process.
The CID, this reporter gathered, also invited the chairmen of the PTA from the affected schools to its regional office in Sekondi where they were interviewed to ascertain the fact of the story as carried by The Chronicle.
The two institutions are yet to come out with any report implicating any government officials or department about the sale of the lands.
When The Chronicle contacted Nana Nyarko Appiah, chairman of the Axim Road Key Primary School PTA, which featured prominently in The Chronicle story, he confirmed that the two state institutions had contacted him about the story and whatever information he had about the sale of the land had been given to them.
The Chronicle has been told also that the Ghana Education Service has instructed its regional office in Sekondi to react to the report carried by the paper and submit its comment to the head office in Accra for the necessary action.
The Chronicle, in its Tuesday, April 26, 2005 edition, carried a report that Takoradi schools and churches were at loggerheads over the way and manner the latter bought lands set aside for schools in the metropolis.
The Chronicle investigation at that time revealed that since 1992, both the School Management Committee (SMC) and the PTA of the Axim Road Key Primary School, which is one of the affected schools, near the Bompeh Secondary Technical School, have sent several petitions to the metropolitan assembly, complaining bitterly about the way a land in front of the school was sold to the Sacred Order of Silent Brotherhood church by officials of the Lands Commission in Sekondi.
The sale of the land to purposely put up a school but which has now turned into an imposing church building has reportedly thwarted the intended expansion of the school to stop the shift system being run by the school.
When this reporter contacted the metro chief executive, Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, at the time, he confirmed the story but said his outfit could not do anything about it since the church had legal documents covering the land.
When the regional lands officer, Mr. Sarpong was also contacted, he confirmed that the disputed land which was sold to the church by his predecessors belonged to the government.
He however argued that the decision to sell the land to the church fell within the ambit of the law.
Some of the schools complained to The Chronicle that churches which had bought these school lands were disturbing them with a lot of noise, making teaching and learning very difficult.