Veteran journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has stated that Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo goofed beyond recovery after he justified reasons for the deportation of galamsey queen, Aisha Huang.
According to the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, the Senior Minister’s comments on Aisha's deportation was baseless and wrong, more so, giving economic factors and bilateral relations as the reason.
He averred that the question should have been handled by a legal expert from the office of the Attorney General and not the Senior Minister.
“This is somebody when I’m discussing I find it so difficult because I have huge respect for him. He’s a senior friend of mine but I think he goofed beyond recovery. There was no relationship from all my investigations between what had happened to Aisha and the Sinohydrio deal thing...all that he should have done if he wasn’t capable of doing is to let somebody with the legal acumen from the Attorney General’s office to talk about it, explain where the nolle prosequi is. Even if you don’t want to explain just put it there, rather than go and bring in the economic diplomacy factor...unfortunately, that’s what gave the credence to what he said, that’s what made some people believe it but the truth is that it was a baseless statement,” he stressed.
The issue of Aisha Huang has been one of the top stories that have been lingering in the country since last year.
The Chinese national, commonly described by Ghanaians as the ‘galamsey queen’ was deported after state prosecutors issued a nolle prosequi to discontinue the trial against her and four others for engaging in illegal mining.
The decision to discontinue the trial was backed by some individuals including the former Secretary for the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue, who claimed that decision saved the country a lot of money.
Senior Minister, at a town hall meeting, justified the decision saying; “Putting [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy. We have a very good relationship with China. The main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us. So when there are these kinds of arrangements there are other things behind the scenes. That is not important…the most important thing is that she has been deported out of Ghana. There are many other things beyond what we see in these matters and everybody is wide awake. The most important thing is that we established regulations and we are protecting our environment. That is far more important than one Chinese woman who has been deported back to her country.”
Speaking at a forum in Princeton University during a visit to the United States of America, President Akufo-Addo said, “the decision to deport Aisha Huang in hindsight was a mistake and that is why that process and procedure is being stopped."