There is uneasy calm at the Information Service Department (ISD) at Kanda in Accra (ISD) under the Information Ministry, as a retired staff is reported to have hijacked and converted one of the Department’s offices into a house.
Louis Tepretu of the Video Unit of the department has openly dared any director or even the Minister to eject him from the premises.
Louis converted his office into a bedroom, where he lives with his wife and son for well over twenty years.
Huge utility bills were incurred as a result of the personal electrical gadgets and the office air-conditioning systems, which were always on day and night.
These bills were often forwarded to Head Office ostensibly as bills incurred by the whole exhibition department, even though most of the work he didwere private.
Several letters to him to stop using the office as his residence, were ignored until he was forced out and the office closed by Francis Arthur who was then the Acting Director. The video unit was relocated to head office and Louis was as a result transferred.
When Mr Arthur left ISD, Louis returned to the Kanda premises and has moved into a metal container as his permanent residence.
Though on retirement for well over three years now, he has refused to vacate the premises and still use government utilities without paying.
What most people find baffling is, why Louis, would rent out his own house in Madina and be living in a container.
Ironically, he also owns a four-wheel drive vehicle, which he usually parks under a mango tree by his container residence.
Even worse, he has created a garden and also keeps livestock on the premises. The staff is very much worried because according to them if the watchmen who take care of security on the compound have all rented their own apartments in suburbs of Accra, they cannot understand why a senior officer who earns higher than them should be living such a life.
“What does he use his salary for if he cannot find a decent place to live? Because of him, people from other institutions who come here do not respect us because they say we behave like squatters. Assuming he was working at Flagstaff House or the Osu Cemetery, would he have been living there? How can an ISD officer stoop so low?” They queried.
The peeved workers, said they did not understand why Louis, has gone on retirement but continues to use the office premises as his residence. “Why, is the department his family property? If all retired officers stay on the premises, how will the situation be like?” they queried.
ISD is the public relations outfit of government and staff of the department are supposed to give the Department a good image.
In recent times, the current administration has been credited with refurbishing the whole Ministry of Information and the Head Office of ISD and this has admittedly enhanced the image of the institution.
According to some staff at the Head Office, the attitude of staff like Louis do not augur well for the image of the department and are therefore calling on the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, to stop this abuse by evicting him from the Kanda premises to end that impunity and also restore decency.