Arrest and prosecute Wontumi, other officers of Akonta Mining - Group writes to IGP

Chairman Wontumi Cwcw1 Bernard Antwi-Boasiako alias Chairman Wontumi, Ashanti Regional chairman of NPP

Thu, 5 Jan 2023 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

A new call has been made for the arrest and prosecution of directors and officers of Akonta Mining Limited for their alleged involvement in illegal mining activities.

A group known as the Media Coalition Against Galamsey revived its calls via a January 3, 2023 statement to the Inspector-General of Police, George Akuffo Dampare.

“We are currently unaware of any actions to investigate, arrest and prosecute the directors and officers of Akonta Mining Ltd, despite the incontrovertible evidence that the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, his Ministry and the Minerals Commission have in their possession, which shows that the said company has in fact undertaken the alleged illegal mining operations," the statement read in part.

The group stressed that a previous request to meet the IGP has not mmaterialized whiles referencing the Attorney General's communication with the coalition that it was the police that had the right to initiate prosecution of cases under the law.

Ashigbey emphasised in the statement that, “we are still convinced that the evidence is sufficient to establish that the company has a case to answer and that you have sufficient basis to initiate prosecution against the company’s director and officers.

"Our conviction has been supported by several stakeholders including the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference who have also called for the prosecution of the same company for the same offences.

“We wish to remind you of our request for a new date to meet with you and ask for some action to be taken on our petition. We hope to hear from you soon as we join hands to #StopGalamsey,” the statement signed by leader of the group, Kenneth Ashigbey added.

Akufo-Addo mounts defense for Akonta Mining

Barely 24-hours after the petition was submitted, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at a gethering in Takoradi stated that Akonta Mining, a company owned by Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi; is not engaged in illegal mining anywhere in the country.

Calls for the arrest of Wontuni, who is the Ashanti Regional chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), started last year after the company he owns was reported to have engaged in illegal mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.

President Akufo-Addo was incidentally responding to a renewed call for the arrest of Wontumi and other shareholders (over Akonta Mining operations) by Ashigbey, who was also present at the event.

The president in delivering his remarks responded thus: “Let me respond briefly to the chairperson on the issue of illegal mining. I want to assure him and all of you that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak.

“Further, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has through the agency of the Forestry Commission, with the assistance of the military, made the effort to cordon off all 294 sites of forest reserves in the country and rid them of illegal mining as we speak.”

In October last year, Akonta Mining was accused of operating from the Forest Reserve after they had a month prior clashed with some locals in the town of Samreboi in the Western North Region.

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources ordered a halt to their operations in the forest but clarified that they had a valid mining license in areas outside of the natural habitat.

There was also a report that security operatives had raided one of the operational sites of the comoany in the forest reserve, burning machines and structures.


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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