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19.02.2020 General News

Galamsey Fight A Sham For NPP Elements To Take Over, Enrich Themselves – ASEPA

Galamsey Fight A Sham For NPP Elements To Take Over, Enrich Themselves – ASEPA
LISTEN FEB 19, 2020

Civil society group Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor to probe the galamsey saga.

They want the OSP to dig deep into the whereabouts of some 500 excavators, 4,045 other mining equipment and 2,779 weapons and ammunition seized from alleged illegal miners by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) which have been misappropriated and cannot be accounted for.

In its petition, ASEPA said: “These latest revelations of corruption in the fight against galamsey show that the whole fight against illegal mining was a sham and a plot to get licensed small-scale miners out of business so that some elements in government can take over small-scale mining in the country”.

The petition, bearing the signature of Mr Mensah Thompson, the group’s Executive Director, said: “Today, the turbidity of our water bodies has worsened leading to a rise in skin infections and other diseases such as diarrhoea in communities affected by the ‘galamsey’ menace. Kindly find attached a picture of river Pra, in 2017 before the ban on small-scale mining and its current state here in attached and labelled as Exhibit 2A.

“We believe that these latest revelations of massive rot in the galamsey fight border on offences such as stealing, bribery, corruption, abuse of public office for private gain, and other serious offences which your office is mandated to investigate.

“It is in this light that we request your office to launch full investigations into the misappropriation of seized items such as excavators, mining equipment, gold and weapons by the IMCIM through the fight against illegal mining in the last three 3 years. We think that the IMCIM, ‘Galamstop’ and Operation Vanguard must be investigated by your office to unravel those responsible for this rot so they can be made to face the full rigours of the law”.

Read the full petition below:
PETITION TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGED THIEVERY AND CORRUPTION IN THE FIGHT AGAINST "GALAMSEY"

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) is a public accountability civil advocacy group operating in Ghana with prime interest in anti-corruption campaigns, civil advocacy and environmental protection.

We petition your high office pursuant to Section 2, 3(b) and (c) of the Special Prosecutor Act, (Act 959) 2017, to invoke the jurisdiction of the Special Prosecutor to open investigations into the alleged thievery and corruption that has bedevilled the national fight against illegal mining (galamsey).

In 2017, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, announced the government's decision to fight illegal mining activities that were destroying our forests, lands and water bodies. This was followed by a nationwide ban on all mining activities in the country and the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, herein referred to as (IMCIM) and also the Operation Vanguard, which was a joint military and police task force, specifically set up to combat the menace.

This project, as we were made to believe, was very dear to the heart of the President and as such, huge resources of the state were allocated to the IMCIM and the Operation Vanguard team to assist them function effectively and bring the menace under control.

About two weeks ago, our attention was drawn to a video in circulation on social media which captures a conversation between one Ekow Ewusi, who is the Central Regional Vice-Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and a member of the government’s taskforce against “galamsey” and Professor Frimpong-Boateng, who is the current Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. (Find video attached and marked Exhibit 1A)

In the said video, Mr Ekow Ewusi is heard narrating how Prof Frimpong-Boateng, who chairs the IMCIM, authorised him to facilitate the illegal mining business of John Boadu, the General Secretary of the NPP, Chairman Wontumi and other NPP functionaries ostensibly to raise money to finance the New Patriotic Party.

In the same video, Prof Frimpong-Boateng is heard admitting that he gave such orders to Mr Ekow Ewusi. Again, in that same video, Ekow Awusi is heard accusing the son of the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, who doubles as the chairman of the IMCIM, Jojo Frimpong, of engaging in illegal mining in the country.

Again, we have become aware of the fact that about 500 excavators, 4,045 other mining equipment and 2,779 weapons and ammunition seized from alleged illegal miners by the IMCIM have been misappropriated and cannot be accounted for. There have been accusations and counter-accusations as to the whereabouts of the seized excavators and who had misappropriated them.

Subsequently, we have also heard from some small-scale miners giving chilling accounts of how seized gold, vehicles, weapons and other equipment belonging to them have been misappropriated by the Operation Vanguard team, the “Galamstop” taskforce and IMCIM.

Kindly find media publications on this fact attached and marked as Exhibit 1B,1C and 1D.

These latest revelations of corruption in the fight against galamsey show that the whole fight against illegal mining was a sham and a plot to get licensed small-scale miners out of business so that some elements in government can take over small-scale mining in the country.

Today, the turbidity of our water bodies has worsened leading to a rise in skin infections and other diseases such as diarrhoea in communities affected by the “galamsey” menace. Kindly find attached a picture of river Pra, in 2017 before the ban on small-scale mining and its current state here in attached and labelled as Exhibit 2A.

We believe that these latest revelations of massive rot in the galamsey fight border on offences such as stealing, bribery, corruption, abuse of public office for private gain, and other serious offences which your office is mandated to investigate.

It is in this light that we request your office to launch full investigations into the misappropriation of seized items such as excavators, mining equipment, gold and weapons by the IMCIM through the fight against illegal mining in the last three 3 years. We think that the IMCIM, “Galamstop” and Operation Vanguard must be investigated by your office to unravel those responsible for this rot so they can be made to face the full rigours of the law.

Thank you.
Signed:
Mensah Thompson
Executive Director, ASEPA

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