It has emerged that the armed task force from Tema Development Company Limited (TDC) with tacit support of soldiers and police officers has defied order from the traditional authorities of Tema Traditional Council and went ahead to demolish Paedico International School building at Community 24, in the Tema West municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The unlawful demolition, according to the information available to Soireenews.com had left the fate of the 2022 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates hanging.
The unfortunate incident which occured on Friday September 2, 2022 was preceded by several intimidation and threats issued to owner of the school, Madam Peace Shalom Negble, popularly known in gospel music industry as Mama Peace Kaba, students and teachers of the school.
TDC had earlier demolished some ongoing projects of the school at foundation and footing levels amidst threats to the school, after refusal to regularize the land for Madam Negle ( the purchaser) as requested by the Tema Traditional Council led by the late Nii Adjei Kraku II, the original owners.
The a couple of weeks, the Soireenews.com published the plea of prospective BECE candidates of Paedico International School to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo president to intervene in the issue which was gradually ruining their future after failing to partake in the 2021 BECE.
As school children were on vacation and JHS three students were preparing to write their 2022 Basic Education Certificate Examination, TDC taskforce on Friday September 2, 2022 at around 5pm went to pull down the entire school building including furnitures.
The Proprietress of the school, Peace Shalom Negbleh, was mainly concerned about the welfare of the school children when school resumes, particularly the final year students who are to return this week to round up preparations for their BECE.
Rachel Marku Aheto and Alex Keni Tawiah, BECE candidates have also been complaining bitterly about how the development has shattered their hopes of writing BECE this year.
Speaking in an interview with owner of the school, Madam Peace Shalom Negble, she narrated that the school building structures demolished were located on eighteen plots of land, which is the property of Pedico International School located at Tema Community 24 near Adjei Kojo in the Tema West.
Not even attempts by the owner of the school, Madam Peace Shalom Negble, popularly known in gospel music industry as Mama Peace Kaba, could stop the demolition of her school properties.
Meanwhile, Soireenews.com checks have revealed that the TDC did not serve notice for Pedico International School to leave the premises.
This online news outlet’s investigations also discovered that the TDC task force carried out the exercise without any court order.
The task force reportedly also defied orders in a letter from the Tema Traditional Council affirming in dealing of land transactions with Madam Negble.
Information available from the office of the Tema Traditional Council indicates that the Council has written officially to inform management of TDC headed by Mrs. Alice Abena Ofori-Atta, that Madam Negble genuinely and legally secured the said plots of land from the Council located at Tema Community 24 but the TDC ignored the letter and moved to demolish the school structures.
The land allocation confirmation letter dated May 2, 2012 which is in possession of Soireenews.com with the certified signature of the Paramount (Mantse) Chief of Tema Traditional Area, Nii Adjei Akraku, confirmed that they had legally and genuinely allocated the eighteen plots of land at Tema Community 24 to Mama Peace Shalom Negble.
The document entitled: “Confirmation of Allocation," which was embossed on the letterhead of the Tema Traditional Council reads in part, "The Tema Traditional Council is pleased to inform you that it has confirmed the allocation of the above to Madam Mama Peace Shalom Negble.
It continued that "Kindly arrange on behalf of the council, the preparation of the necessary documents to formalise the allocation of the plots to her."
Narrating her ordeal in an interview with DAILY Analyst on Saturday, July 23, 2022, Madam Negble, who is a widow, described the situation as "very worrying, unlawful and wicked.”
She lamented that the destruction of her school structures has landed her into serious economic crisis which has affected the enrollment of pupils to the school.
According to her, she legally purchased eighteen (18) plots of land from Tema and Ashaiman Traditional Council for the past eighteen (18) years and established the Pedico International School.
The celebrated Ewe Gospel Musician awards winner told journalists that after the task force of TDC invaded her land and carried out the demolition, she reported the incident to the authorities of Tema and Ashaiman Traditional Council.
She pointed out that the traditional authorities responded in the letter that she should sought for re-regularisation of her land documents with the TDC, saying that when she officially consulted the TDC, it asked her to repurchase the land with a new price of GH¢ 307,450 00.
However, a letter from the TDC Development Company Limited signed by its Managing Director (MD), Mrs. Alice Abena Ofori-Atta, dated January 2, 2022, to Madam Negble, reads that, "You are required to pay the following fees; land management fees GH¢31, 200.00, First Year’s ground rent GH¢702,00 which all sums up to a total amount of GH¢305,450.00.
The letter added that "the receipts of payment of the first year’s ground rent and the land management fees must reach the TDC within 28 days before the formal offer and right of entry letters will be issued to you."
"So now the question l am asking the management of the TDC Development Company Limited are that since their task force had moved to demolish the footings of my school building structures including the "only constructed washrooms for her school children and staff on the land which development has affected the enrollment of the school, where do they want me to go and get that huge money to repurchase the land l have already bought eighteen (18) years ago from the Tema Traditional Authorities for her school project?," Madam Negble sorrowfully asked.
What was even more annoying and irritating, according to Madam Negble, was that the management of TDC during the discussion told her that it would resell two plots of the land out of the eighteen plots of land he secured for the building of her school.
"And they also told me that it (TDC) has to demolish some school building structures on the land before it can pave way for it [TDC] to demarcate that two plots of land for me. This is very wicked," she fumed.
In order to seek redress, Madam Negble, who doubles as the chairperson of Tema branch of Gospel Musician Artistes, pointed out that she has currently summoned the leadership of the TDC at Legal Aid Department near Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
She indicated that when the case was called for the first time for discussion, the lawyer who came to represent the company told the sitting that the letter from the Tema Traditional Council, affirming the allocation of the land to her [Peace Shalom Negble] was not in the record books of the TDC.
"So the posture demonstrated by the lawyer during the meeting attest to the fact that the management of TDC do not want to give that part of her land back to her," she averred.
This notwithstanding, she bemoaned that she has constantly been bullied by some senior staff members of Tema Development Corporation and thugs.
Additionally, Madam Negble indicated that she constantly receives death threats.
She noted that when the TDC started harassing her on the land in question, she sought the assistance of some prominent chiefs and other traditional office holders to have several meetings with the management of TDC.
She pointed out that whenever they meet the leadership of the TDC for resolution of the matter, they would assure her of an amicable settlement.
“But that could not happen,” she stressed.
Madam Negble, therefore, called on the government to come to her aid since she had been using her school to help children in the catchment area of Tema Community 24.