Police have arrested eight people in connection with the school placement fraud uncovered by a whistle-blower website, The Fourth Estate.
The eight are Eric Aggrey, Rachel Aryeetey, Isaac Mensah, Gilbert Afriyie Nkrumah, Sebastian Appram, Bernard Kusi Agyemang, Eugenia Abigail Ahiable, and Daniel Opoku.
They are believed to be part of a fraud syndicate that sells placement slots at the Education Ministry, having engaged in the fraudulent sales during the 2022 Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) exercise.
It is an automated merit-based system, introduced in 2005 as part of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service’s programme to do away with human interventions in the placement of qualified BECE graduates by ensuring fairness, transparency and speed.
A report by The Fourth Estate indicated that Eric Aggrey, 36, works as a cleaner, Rachel Aryeetey, works as a caterer at the secretariat of the CSSPS together with Isaac Mensah and Gilbert Afriyie Nkrumah, 23, while Sebastian Appram is a staff at the Fisheries Commission’s Tema Regional office.
For Bernard Kusi Agyemang, he is an operations manager with a logistics company, Eugenia Abigail Ahiable, an administrator; and Daniel Opoku, a foreman.
According to the report, the suspects remotely worked with other intermediaries to make changes in the placement of schools, charging between GH¢8,000 to GH¢20,000.
Chief Inspector Benneh, police prosecutor, told a court where the suspects were arraigned that even though the eight people are private citizens, they conspired with public officers to use public office for profit, contrary to section 3 of Act 458, and section 179 (b) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29).
Eric Aggrey, with the assistance of other intermediaries, purportedly changed the placement of a student from Apam Senior High School to Aggrey Memorial AME Zion School in the Central Region.
Again, he managed to change another placement of a student from Presbyterian Senior High Technical School at Aburi in the Eastern Region to Mfantsiman Girls SHS in the Central Region.
During the period, Eric and cohorts demanded and managed to part with GH¢19,500 for placement of two students at Aggrey Memorial and Mfantsiman Girls.
The 36-year-old cleaner has since confessed to the crime and admitted receiving a list of vacancies of schools from Rachel Aryeetey, the caterer.
Rachel also admitted during her caution statement, and mentioned a private security guard in a basic school opposite her house as the one who facilitated in getting all placements changed for their ‘clients.’
She identified the security guard as Isaac Mensah, whom she handed over all monies to, claiming that Isaac owes her a refund for one of the placements he could not effect.
Isaac was later arrested by the police, and he also mentioned Sebastian Appram as the person who had been assisting him.
Police investigations led to the arrest of Gilbert Afriyie Nkrumah on October 28, 2022, and he assisted in arresting Daniel Opoku, a foreman, Atta Kuffuor Senior, a lab technician; and Atta Kuffuor Junior, an IT expert.
Atta Kuffuor is said to be the one who finally helped to change the placement of the student from Aburi Presbyterian Senior High School to Mfantsiman Girls Senior High School.
The twin brothers have since gone into hiding, Daniel Opoku told the police in his statement.