23.09.2005 General News

Five Forestry staffs dismissed

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Accra, Sept. 23, GNA - The Forestry Commission on Friday announced the dismissal of five of its staff for allowing the harvesting of trees from forest reserves and also failing to act on information of the illegal harvesting.

A statement in Accra and signed by Mr Sam Akrofi, Public Relations Officer, named the dismissed officers as Mr Kofi Asem Winston, Assistant District Manager; Mr Mensah Bonsu, Service Officer and Mr Samuel Amissah Bentum, Range Supervisor, all of the New Edubiase Office of the Commission.

The rest are Mr David Yaw Nkansah, Range Supervisor and Mr Kwabena Francis, a Forest Guard.

Cautioning the public against conniving with the Commission's employees to infringe on forestry laws and regulations, the statement said offenders would be jointly held responsible and prosecuted. Elaborating on the offences leading to the dismissal, the release said Mr Winston permitted illegal harvesting in Onuem Nyamebe Forest Reserve and failed to investigate illegal activities in Afia Shelter Forest Reserve.

In the case of Mr Bonsu, he failed to take action on illegal activities reported in Afia Forest Reserve and connived with Mr Winston to directly organise the evacuation and sale of the illegal lumber. Mr Betum aided and abetted in the illegal harvesting of timber in the Afia Forest.

Kwabena Francis also failed to act on the information of illegal activities in Afia Shelterbelt and Onuem Nyamebe Forest Reserve, but rather organised some local men to convey 35 pieces of lumber and shared the proceeds.

Mr Nkansah manipulated the log Measurement Conveyance Certificates/Timber Information forms leading to loss of revenue to the Commission.

The Commission admonished the public against dealing with the dismissed staff saying "any member of the public, who deals with the dismissed staff does so at his or her own risk".