General News of Saturday, 4 March 2017
Authorities at Achimota School have appealed to President Nana Akufo-Addo to help secure the school’s land as it continues to be at risk from marauding encroachers.
Beatrice T. Adom, the headmistress of one of Ghana’s oldest schools, described the situation as a distraction to teaching and learning activities.
On the occasion of the School’s 90th-anniversary celebration, she appealed for help as parts of the school’s land have been taken over by land guards and developers who are putting up structures without a permit, threatening the very existence of the school.
“There have been instances where land guards have even threaten staff members occupying school bungalow to vacate such facilities claiming they are the owners of the land on which the facility has been built.
“Some of these individuals and groups sometimes act with impunity without any regard for the law. This unfortunate situation is a major challenge confronting this 90-year-old mother,” the headmistress said.
She lamented that after the years and successes the school has chalked, it still does not have a wall to protect it landed property.
“Without the wall, the school is very vulnerable and our security is highly compromised. Activities in the Achimota Forest and the adjoining slums continue to pose a security challenge to the school.
She appealed to the President and Old Achimota Association to take the matter to heart and help wall the school.
A 172-acre land is at the heart of a legal battle between the school and Osu traditional leaders who in 2011, took possession of the property located in prime areas in Accra.
The school’s lands were acquired by ordinance by the colonial government from the Osu stool in 1921 and an amount of 4,000 pounds paid to the elders of the stool.
But a protracted land litigation became murkier when the Osu Mankralo stool and a few elders went to court and averred that more than 170 acres of the land were not being used for the purpose for which the colonial government acquired it.
Consequently, the Osu Mankralo stool wants it reverted to the original owners.
A legal officer of the Lands Commission said, according to records available at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, instead of informing the Attorney-General to enable the government to prepare a solid defense, the School failed to do so.
Rather, he said they went to court to state, among other things, that the state had no evidence to adduce in defense and, therefore, the court could go ahead and make a ruling.