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Regional News of Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Source: GNA

Okuapeman school under threat, old students appeal to president

The Okuapeman Senior High School at Akropong is under threat of losing its 435-acre land on which the school is situated to a family from Larteh who have been declared rightful owners of the land by an Accra High Court.

According to the ruling of the court, the School established 58 years ago by Barrister Opoku Acheampong, has occupied that land ever since but is now entitled to only 36 acres of the land with most of its properties situated on the side which is now owned by the family.

The assembly and dining halls, headmaster and staff bungalows, girls’ dormitory, science resource centre and the school sports park are among the properties situated on the 399-acre land now in the hands of the family.

In line with the court ruling, the new owners of the land have erected pillars with red bands on them stretching from the assembly hall through the staff residences to the girls’ dormitory warning the school to keep off.

A statement obtained by GNA showed that the judgment was delivered on September 27, 2002 in favour of Nana Asiamah Aboagye, leader of the family from Larteh, and was registered at the Lands Commission on June 7, 2006.

The defendants were Nana Addo Dankwah III, Okuapemhene and the Ministry of Education.

The School has occupied the entire land since February 1957 when it was established by Barrister Opoku Acheampong and has expanded over the years with more facilities provided under the Ghana Education Trust in the 1960’s during which period the 435 acre-land was acquired by executive instrument by the then government.

Nii Ayitey Hammond, leader of the Old Students’ Association, said in a statement that there was no follow up until January 30, 2015 when early in the morning six men in the company of a court bailiff and a uniformed armed policeman came to the school to erect the pillars.

He said the School’s properties occupy over 139 acres of the land far more than the 36 acres and if the plaintiff was not stopped from executing the judgment of the court “Okuapeman School will be no more.”

Mr Hammond appealed to President John Dramani Mahama to intervene to ensure that the gains made over the years were not eroded as a result of the claim

A former headmaster of the school, Mr Ebenezer Offei Awuku, told GNA that the development was unfortunate, adding that the founder of the school had a vision of the School developing to a university, hence acquiring such vast land.

He appealed to the President of Ghana to intervene to ensure that Okuapeman School with a student population of more than 2,000 and contributed to the nation’s manpower was not wiped away.