The Convener of the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey is calling on the Office of the Special Prosecutor and other statutory investigative bodies to probe the claims made by the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
In a bombshell report authored Prof. Frimpong-Boateng on the request of the Chief of Staff, the former Minister of Environment, Science and Technology accused some bigwigs in government of being involved in illegal small-scale mining otherwise known as ‘Galamsey’ and also interfering in the work of the committee tasked to fight the menace.
Reacting to this in a Citi News interview, Dr. Ashigbey said, “It is really worrying that we have this report and nothing has been done about it. This is not acceptable. Criminality has been alleged by Professor Frimpong-Boateng and you know in our country, all of those mentioned are innocent until proven guilty. We will expect the various bodies who will be able to do it including the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Police CID, these are issues CHRAJ can look into. I’m hoping that the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources will also be reviewing the report. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must ask the police to look into it, so I’m hoping that all of these people will act”.
A former Member of Parliament for Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region, Professor Albert Joseph Quarm has denied claims of his involvement in illegal mining activities known as galamsey.
In the report, Professor Frimpong-Boateng alleged that the former MP used his position as a member of the Minerals Commission to acquire several dozens of large-scale concessions in his district, ostensibly for community mining purposes.
According to the report, the former MP sold the concessions to private individuals, including party members for two hundred thousand Cedis per concession.
But reacting to these allegations, Prof. Joseph Quarm challenged the former Minister to provide evidence to back his claims.
“This is most unfortunate and this is a total lie. I do not own a concession and while I don’t own a concession, how can I sell a concession? To me, once he has not accepted that the report is from him, I can’t say much but if the report is from him, then for a mining concession, there must be documents covering it bearing my name. I will advise that your station should request from him all documents bearing my name”.
“I don’t even own a pin of a concession, let alone several… I don’t have any concessions. If he confirms that it is from him, I will let my lawyers write to him to demand retraction and apology, and I will advise myself,” Mr Quarm said
Meanwhile, a former Secretary for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue, expressed disappointment at the timing of the release of the report.
He argued that the revelations would have served the nation better in 2019 following the report by Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Tiger Eye P.I.
“This report would have been served better if it was released in 2019, I’m disappointed in him for releasing the report now,” Mr. Bissue said.