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Members of the Tamale Metropolitan Head Teachers Association are fuming with rage over the undue delay of payment of claims to them, by the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice.

The teachers are also demanding the head of the Tamale Metro Education Accountant, Mr. Tahiru Arimiyawu Mohammed, who they said had connived with other officers to squander their allowances, amounting to about GH¢10,000 (One hundred million cedis).
In a statement issued to the press in Tamale, and signed by the Chairman of the Association, Mr. Osman Mahama, the members asserted that the money had been withheld unjustifiably, since January 2002.

The angry head teachers, numbering over 400, said after they had threatened to demonstrate against the accountant, Tahiru Arimiyawu, the Regional Director of Education, Mr. D. Chikpa, intervened and set up an investigation committee to look into the matter, which report established that the accountant had misappropriated about GH¢8,300 (¢83 million) out of the amount.

After the committee’s report was established, the Northern Regional BNI arrested the embattled accountant, and confiscated some of his assets, upon establishing the facts of the case. Just after he was granted bail by the BNI, Mr. Arimiyawu went into hiding for several months, but was rearrested by the police in Accra, and brought back to Tamale for trial.

The Accountant was charged on 19 counts for stealing and forgery of documents. The case was titled the Republic verses Mohammed Tahiru Arimiyawu - case number CC/D4/34/05.

The trial began in the Tamale Circuit Court in November 2004. As at January 2007, the case had been called 30 times, due to several adjournments with the excuse that his (Mr. Arimiyawu) counsel was sick.

“While asking for adjournments, the accused petitioned the Attorney General’s office, in Accra in April 2006, with the complaint that he had been wrongly brought to court. The Attorney General’s Office therefore requested for the docket in August 2006, when the case had already been called 26 times and evidence taken from witnesses.

Meanwhile, for the 30 times that the case was tried in the circuit court, it was the police which prosecuted the matter, and not the Attorney General.

“We have also been reliably informed that in the petition to the Attorney General, the former accountant admitted the theft of our monies, but explained that he shared it with some officers. If that is true, the Attorney General therefore has no good reasons for denying us our legitimate claims, by keeping the case docket in Accra.”

According to the headteachers the inaction of the Attorney General caused the Honourable Circuit Court Judge, out of frustration, on January 11, 2007, to discharge the accuse for want of prosecution.

The fuming teachers, who are poised to claim their rightful money, said they would advise themselves as soon as possible, if the case docket was not returned by the Attorney General, to the Tamale Circuit Court, for the continuation of the case.

However, all efforts to contact the Tamale Metropolitan Education office proved unsuccessful.

source: Chronicle