April 24, 2024

The Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice has dismissed Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s allegations in his report on illegal mining activities in the country.

According to the Attorney-General (AG), the allegations in the said report were empty and did not have evidence to prosecute the persons named in it.

AG’s assertion followed a review of a docket submitted by the Police on the allegations contained in a 36-page document written by Prof Frimpong Boateng entitled “Report on the work of IMCIM so far and the way forward”.

The office of the principal legal advisor to government in the advice signed by a Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson on Tuesday September 12, and delivered to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service on Thursday, September 14, 2023, said it could not recommend prosecution of any of the persons named in the report as there was no evidence to back the allegations.

The Attorney-General has therefore asked the police to discharge the persons mentioned except those still under investigation.

“The Attorney-General indicates that a careful study of the Report, the various documents and pen drives submitted to the Police did not disclose any evidence in support of the allegations made against the persons cited in the Report, with the exception of Seth Mantey, John Ofori Atta and Ekow Ewusi, in respect of whom the A-G instructs the Police to conclude their investigations and present a report to him.

“The A-G’s advice, however, notes that even though the Police diary of action shows that John Ofori Atta was invited by the police, there is no indication that he was interviewed or that a statement was taken from him. There is also no statement from Mr Ekow Ewusi on the docket. The A-G instructed the Police to wind up investigations on that issue and furnish him with a report on same.”

The allegations

Prof Frimpong-Boateng, the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) submitted names of people in government who frustrated his effort to fight what is locally called ‘galamsey’ when he was Minister for Environment, Science and Technology.

In the said document, the renowned surgeon mentioned some individuals, he claimed, frustrated his effort and the committee he chaired from addressing the canker.

“Throughout our struggle with illegalities in the small-scale mining sector, what baffled me was the total disregard of the President’s commitment to protecting the environment.

“I can state without any equivocation that many party officials from the national to the unit committee level had their friends, PAs, agents, relatives, financiers, or relatives engaged in illegal mining. Most of them engaged Chinese working for them.

“I am not referring to party people who had their legitimate concession and were mining sustainably as they were instructed to do.

“There are appointees in the Jubilee House that are doing or supporting illegal mining or interfering with the fight against the menace,” excerpts of the document said.

Professor Frimpong also accused a former NPP MP in the Ashanti Region of selling illegally acquired concessions at GH¢200,000 each.

According to him, this “infuriated the party in the constituency so during the 2020 primaries to select a candidate the electorate voted against NPP MP, the then sitting MP, who was more resourced than other candidates.

However, some of the persons mentioned in the report denied same.

The distinguished heart surgeon and founder of the National Cardiothoracic Center was subsequently interrogated by the police but he apparently did not provide any evidence to support his allegations.

A report of the police was subsequently present to the Attorney-General for advice.

 

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