The family of late Lionel Mahama, a former headmaster of the Ghana Senior High School (Ghanasco) in Tamale, who won a court case against the school and Education service for wrongful demotion and freeze of salary, is ready to auction the confiscated assets of the school after failure by authorities, including government to pay a judgment debt awarded by the court.
Diana Awuni, daughter of the late headmaster told Starr News the family had finally secured a clearance document from the court and that a Kumasi-based auctioneer would arrive in Tamale in a fortnight to begin the process to liquidate the vehicles. The only bus of the school, an official Pick up vehicle, and two Nissan patrol cars belonging to the education service have been left rotting in the courtyard for two years now since its confiscation in 2016, after the school failed to pay up salary arrears of the late tutor.
Mr. Lionel Mahama died few months before a High Court ruled in his favor in a matter he sent asking for accumulated salary arrears as ordered by the Commission of the Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) after he was wrongly deposed as headmaster and his salary blocked circa 1997.
The vehicles were impounded in November 2016, three years following authorities’ failure the pay the debt after the court ruled in April 2013. The debt stood at GH200,00 (Two Hundred Thousand cedis) but has now ballooned to staggering GH40,000.
The development comes more than a month after the Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed and Director of Education, Alhaji Mohammad Haruon Cambodia told the school, during its Speech and Prize Award Ceremony early last month that government had intervened to pay the staggering debt for the release of the vehicles, after the headmistress painted a picture of a chronic transport difficulties.
The Regional Minister at that event told the gathering of students, masters, parents, chiefs, politicians, religious leaders and well-wishers that the Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia had volunteered to “own the problem” and so they would be released by the end of March.
Mr. Saeed added by promising the school and worried stakeholders that the arrears was going to paid as judgment debt by government before warning journalists to censor the news.
“Ehh, with due respect this one off record, I said off record,” Mr Salifu cautioned reporters covering the event after making noting: “the good news is that, His Excellency the vice president, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumiah, this one he said is home matters, even though he is the vice president for everybody, but sometimes when it come to Ghanasco matters we have to come down…because first of all, they were going to auction the vehicle so vice has to intervene”.
The Regional Education Director also said he informed President Akufo-Addo about the seizure and that he ordered the Education Ministry to capture the arrears in the 2018 budget and went on to describe the administration as “Government who means business”. He said he had evidence that the Ghana Education Service was processing the cheque and that the money would be paid by second week of March, last month.
However, weeks after this announcement by the top officers in the region, the family of the late headmaster said they were “going ahead to auction the vehicle” because they had “heard nothing from them”.
The daughter of the headmaster expressed fury about the vehicles which were abandoned at the courtyard and slammed authorities for being indifferent because the vehicles were not their personal assets.
She said the family had engaged the parties enough and could not wait any longer.
“We are going ahead to do the auction. We are going to get the certified auctioneer to get contract with the court and then we do it,” Diana Awuni told Starr News.
“In fact, those vehicles have been there for one and half years; one and half years. Is it right? Is it because it is not their personal vehicle? can you allow your vehicles to stand there in sun and rain to deteriorate for one and half years? This is sheer wickedness. Some people have taken it personal and they are behaving the way the want. We have engaged them long enough what else are they going to say? We are waiting for them. If by that time they are able to bring it, fine,” she fumed.