Court acquits 8 persons accused of school placement fraud



An Accra Circuit Court has acquitted and discharged all eight persons who were on trial for conspiring with public officers to effect changes in the 2022 Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) for senior high schools.

The Court’s ruling on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, concluded almost a year of hearings after The Fourth Estate uncovered fraud in the school placement system.

According to the ruling, the prosecution could not prove that the accused persons conspired with any public officer to effect school placement changes to favour some people.

The Court said the prosecution failed to provide evidence that the accused persons and the public officers “corruptly made changes in the 2022 Ghana Education Service (GES) Computerised School Selection and Placement System.”

“The prosecution did not investigate who changed the schools, but rather probed whether or not the accused persons were public officers or conspired with public officers,” the judge said, adding that “the investigation was not conducted to establish the person or persons who effected the changes in the system but whether or not the said persons are public officers.”

The court further stated that there was “no evidence” that showed that the monies received by the second and third accused persons reached any public officers.

As such, the Court acquitted and discharged all the eight individuals who had been charged with the crime of conspiring with public officers to commit a crime “using public office for profit.”

The eight accused persons were Eric Aggrey, a cleaner, Rachel Aryeetey, a caterer, Isaac Mensah and Gilbert Afriyie Nkrumah.

The rest were Sebastian Appram, a staff of the Fisheries Commission’s Tema Regional Office, Bernard Kusi Agyemang, an operations manager with a logistics company, Eugenia Abigail Ahiable, an administrator at Accra Academy and Daniel Opoku, a foreman.

Their prosecution followed an investigation by The Fourth Estate in 2022 which revealed that some people were circumventing the CSSPS by buying and selling slots in some of the country’s best known secondary schools.

Following the publication of The Fourth Estate’s findings, the eight suspects, who have been acquitted and discharged, were arrested in October and November 2022.

On Sunday, October 9, 2022, Sebastian Apram was arrested by the police when he thought he had stepped out of his house to meet a friend who was visiting him. Isaac Mensah, the first accused person, was in the police vehicle sent to Sebastian’s house. Isaac, the friend Sebastian thought he was meeting had been in police custody for three days. He led the police to Sebastian.

Eric Aggrey was found in Rachel’s house. Both were arrested by the police.

On October 28, 2022, Gilbert Afriyie Nkrumah, a staff of the Fisheries Commission, Tema regional office, was invited to the Accra Central Police station where he was placed under arrest.

Subsequently, Bernard Kusi Agyemang, an Operations Manager with a logistics company, Eugenia Abigail Ahiable, an Administrator, and Daniel Opoku, a foreman were also arrested.



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