April 24, 2024

To many, Charles Cromwell Nanabayin Onuawonto Bissue, remains a presidential staffer inside the Akufo-Addo government, but the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) yesterday, revealed that he has rather been fired, referring to him as a “student formerly a presidential staffer” who is wanted to assist it with some investigations.

The Office of the President; Jubilee House, has been silent on Charles Bissue’s sacking, and it is unclear what informed this decision and how it has worked against the state, especially so when he is under criminal investigations over his role as a Secretary to the defunct Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
Yesterday, he was forced to express his intention to visit the OSP to provide the necessary information requested of him by that office. His decision, was contrary to his lawyer’s insistence that he will not turn himself in to the OSP.

Kissi Agyepong, the Special Prosecutor, had declared Mr Bissue wanted for “corruption and corruption-related offences regarding the activities and expenditures of the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), especially in respect of the seizure and management of the excavators, machinery, road vehicles, and gold nuggets; and use of public office for profit”.
Interestingly, Mr Bissue and his lawyer, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, have been playing hide and seek with the OSP using his health.

A court on Monday adjourned a case involving Mr Bissue to July 4, following a request by his lawyer claiming his client was “so unwell that he cannot stand and talk” but it has since emerged that the Mr Bissue, is well and talking and had even travelled to the Western Region.
Mr Bissue, yesterday fired back denying he was in hiding. He insisted that he is within the jurisdiction of the country. This was after the OSP had declared him wanted for failing to respond to an invitation to appear and answer questions regarding an ongoing investigation into suspected corruption within the dissolved IMCIM.
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has for almost a month now, a GH¢2 million bail following an invitation for his subsequent arrest by the OSP.
Horace Ekow Ewusi, the immediate past 1st Vice-Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Central Region, and Seth Mantey, a Journalist with Accra-based Peace FM, have also been arrested and questioned as part of the ongoing probe by the OSP.

An interview on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News, Mr Bissue expressed his disappointment with the situation, stating that he is currently in the Western region and on his way to Accra.

“It rather unfortunate, it has gotten to this, I’m within the jurisdiction, I’m in the country, in the Western region. As we speak, I’m making my way to Accra. The Special Prosecutor and I were in court, a couple of weeks ago he wrote that he wanted to meet me on another matter. I told them I had an emergency at home, but they declined it and asked me to attend on a certain date which I couldn’t. Further to that, all we heard was an arrest warrant for me”
Mr. Bissue emphasized that he respects the law and has provided relevant information to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and National Security.

He assured that he has no intention of evading the authorities and questioned why he has been declared wanted when he has not committed any crime.
“I’m not above the law, I have always abided by the law. Already I have been to the BNI not as a suspect to provide information. I have been to the CID office, and sometimes I go in there, to do some documentation for them. I have been with the National Security and I don’t think I will run away.
“I’m not a fugitive for my photos to be advertised out there. I will go to the Special Prosecutor’s Office and provide information required of me. I know I’m innocent, I haven’t committed any crime. I haven’t done anything wrong, I haven’t sold any excavators.”
The Special Prosecutor, had secured an order secured from the court to arrest Mr Bissue after he had failed to honour an invitation last month.
In spite of the court order, Mr Bisssue’s lawyer maintained that his client will not turn himself in.
Mr Bissue was to move an injunction application seeking to stop OSP from prosecuting him.

Following this the OSP has called for Charles Bissue’s arrest.
The former Presidential Staffer, had been directed to appear at the Offices of the Special Prosecutor on May 22.
His lawyers wrote to the OSP, asking for a copy of the petition which formed the basis of the invitation. They also asked that the said meeting be postponed to May 25 due to “a domestic emergency”.
According to Mr Bissue’s lawyers, the OSP refused to accept the proposed date of 25th May 2023 and insisted on the May 22 date.
The meeting did not come on compelling the OSP to go to court to secure an arrest warrant.

Mr Bissue, has filed another suit at the court praying that it sets aside the warrant of arrest issued against him and also rule that the investigative body is violating his human rights.
Mr Bussue has two previous suits against the OSP. One is in respect of the OSP’s investigations arising from an investigative documentary titled ‘Galamsey Fraud Part I’ published by Tiger Eye P.I. and the journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Mr Bissue had asked for a copy of the petition which is informing the investigation and further claimed that this petition was authored by the Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng when he was a lawyer in private practice before assuming office.
He is praying the court to restrain the OSP from investigating him, saying the subject of investigation has previously been concluded by the Police Service’s CID. These cases are yet to be determined.
The interrogation of Ekow Ewusi and Seth Mantey occurred, following the recent questioning of Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the former Chairman of the IMCIM, by the Special Prosecutor.
IMCIM was responsible for addressing the issue of illegal mining in the country, and Prof. Frimpong-Boateng compiled a report highlighting various individuals involved in illegal mining activities, including Ekow Ewusi and Mantey.
According to sources, Ekow Ewusi and Mantey were interviewed, cautioned, and subsequently granted bail.
Their involvement in the IMCIM’s activities and expenditure is being scrutinized in light of the bombshell report submitted by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng to the Presidency.
Further investigations by the OSP are expected to involve more individuals who were mentioned in the report.
The Special Prosecutor intends to summon them for questioning in the coming weeks to gather more information about the expenditure and operations of the IMCIM.

 

See also  Today's Newspapers Headlines; Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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