By Alfred K. Dogbey
The Herald’s painstaking investigations into the controversies surrounding the ongoing construction of market stores on a portion of school land in Kasoa by the Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly (ASEMA), have uncovered some shocking details about the project.
Documents intercepted by The Herald revealed that the project which is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement signed by the Assembly with an investor, was unanimously decided by all, including the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mavis Hawa Koomson.
But the MP, has since sort to run away from the project and openly declaring that she knows nothing about it.
The agreement to execute the project, was taken at the General Assembly meetings of an ordinary session held in June 2014 at the Assembly Hall.
Credible evidence available to The Herald revealed that, even though the MP was not personally present at the meeting, she together with twenty Assembly Members, legally signed the documents before the contract was eventually awarded, meaning, the project is not a one-man decision taken by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Dr. Adams Nuhu.
Excerpts of the meeting’s minute taken on June 2 and June 17, 2012 by the Assembly when the decision was reached categorically stated that “after lengthy deliberations Hon. Alenga seconded a motion tabled by Hon. Sanni”.
The Assemblyman for Windy Hill Biakoye, Alhaji Ibrahim Sanni “recommending the approval of the House for the school project to be repackaged and put under Public Private Partnership with any investor who was interested to complete the school in exchange for the construction of stores and to provide fence wall to protect the school from the activities of traders and criminals.”
The minutes was emphatic that “the motion was unanimously carried”, stressing that, “the House further approved the duration of the PPP agreement for a period of thirty years (30years)” where the property would be reversed to the Assembly.
The actual mode of the contract awarded to the Kasoa-based investor, M/S Obolo Real Estate & Construction Limited, was to complete an abandoned One-Storey 12-Unit Classroom Bock with ancillary facilities for Oduponkpehe Cluster of Schools.
The second phase of the agreement was for the investor to construct a One-Storey 40-Unit Lockable Stores, which would serve as fence wall for the school to secure the school from criminals and encroachers who had turned the area into market with their kiosks.
This paper has established that many of those crying foul over the project are wives and relatives of some of the Assembly members and teachers, who have placed their kiosks and containers on the school land and have been busily doing business on it, until they were demolished.
The Herald’s inquiry, has revealed that the project which was captured in the minutes as “Repackaging of Odupongkpehe M/A. Basic School under Public Private Partnership Agreement” was an old contract that was awarded in 2007, but was abandoned by the then MCE, Abbam Quaye.
The project, The Herald’s investigation has revealed that, it was an eighteen-month project, which should have been completed in 2008 by the previous administration, if funds were available.
The contract, The Herald, learnt was first awarded under the erstwhile NPP administration to one Aunty Mercy of Aunty Mercy Cream and Soup by the then Awutu/Efutu Senya District Assembly, but the contractor later opted out.
Records from the Assembly showed that, a whopping ¢7 billion old cedis HIPC Fund was released to complete the project, but was allegedly diverted for 2008 general election campaign of the then ruling party.
Surprisingly, the new contractor, Obolo Real Estate & Construction Limited, had already completed the One-Storey 12-Unit Classroom block and provided a fence wall to the school, which was formerly used by miscreants in the area.
Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) cited by The Herald, which was between the Assembly and the investor, indicated that ASEMA awarded the contract based on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) terms.
About the terms of the MoU, the parties agreed that, “the project shall be jointly held by ASEMA and the investor, for a period of Thirty (30) years from the date of execution of this agreement”.
The agreement also noted that “the parties further agreed that the project shall therefore be transferred to ASEMA after thirty (30) years of joint operation or have the agreement reviewed for another twenty (20) years”.
However, the MCE, Dr. Adams Nuhu, who broke his silence on the issue in an exclusive interview with The Herald since the hullabaloo about the project started, expressed shocked at the level of hypocrisy shown by the very people who had suggested and approved the project, especially Mavis Hawa Koomson, the MP.
Dr. Nuhu revealed that, even though he initially planned not to react to the piercing criticisms against him, it was important to state the fact and inform the public about the truth that he had not taken any unilateral decision in the matter of this project.
The authorities of the school, as well as the Parent’s Teachers Association (PTA), The Herald gathered have all hailed the project due to the numerous hazardous business activities of the encroachers.
To the MCE, the project was rather to prevent happenings, especially noise from both buyers and sellers during school and class hours, thereby distracting the attention of the students.
Meanwhile, The Herald is also investigating how some individuals at the Assembly, including a leading Constituency Executive of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), have all gone ahead allegedly collecting money from the investor, yet leading a crusade against the project.
More to Come!