I paid presidential staffer GHC35k – Anas
Investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has enumerated the cost he incurred in producing the latest exposé on galamsey, including the amounts paid to Presidential Staffer Charles Cromwell Bissue.
In an article, Anas alleged that a total of GH¢5,000 was paid to Mr. Bissue, who has since stepped aside as Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
According to Anas in the article, “We found Mr. Bissue abusing his office, breaching his fiduciary duties, engaging in bribery and corruption. These were uncovered by way of hard facts, captured on audio/visual recording, and electronic correspondence.”
He said, “Mr. Andy Owusu, a link man for Mr. Bissue charged us fifty thousand cedis (GH¢ 50,000.00) to get us through to him. We negotiated for forty thousand Cedis (GH¢40,000.00) and he accepted it. Out of this amount he accepted part payment of fifteen thousand cedis (15,000.00). Mr Andy Owusu was also the one who told us how much Mr. Bissue was ready to accept to fast track the process for us. Mr Andy Owusu also linked us to “schoolboy” a national security operative for our safety at the illegal mining site.”
According to him, “My outfit, ORR Resource Enterprise, presented itself as a small scale mining company, whose license to mine had expired. In spite of this expiration, we still wanted to mine. We were prepared to go by the government’s directive to be vetted and verified by the IMCIM.”
He added that “under the road map for lifting of ban on artisanal and small scale mining and the way forward prepared by the IMCIM and published in August 2018, it was agreed that miners can go back to mine when the ban was lifted only after meeting the following requirements.”
He said, “Inspection of documents-mining licenses, environmental and operating permits, Tax Identification Number (TIN), and company registration details.
*Advertisement of vetting exercise, including informing Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM); Field Mapping and Verification of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Concessions; includes, mapping of boundaries of companies using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and drone technology to verify the existence and accuracy and location of each concession using GhanaPostGPS digital address system; identification cards to be issued to successful y vetted small scale mining companies; Signpost to be erected at the concessions of the successfully vetted companies.”
He continued that “contrary to the verification and vetting procedure as listed in paragraph 2.4 above, Mr. Bissue circumvented some of the procedures for ORR Resources Enterprise for a fee.”
The investigative journalist said, “We did not go through any vetting procedure. We did not go through the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water Resources Commission (WRC) and Forestry Commission. Mr Bissue took care of all of that for ORR.”
He alleged that “we have paid Mr. Bissue a total of thirty five thousand cedis (GH¢35,000.00)in cash. Our first payment of fifteen thousand cedis (GH¢15,000.00) was made on 22nd January, 2019, through Mr Andy Owusu IMCIM near Jubilee House.”
“He made a second payment of ten thousand cedis (GH¢10,000.00) on 30th of January, 2019 at the same place. The last payment was on 8th of February 2019. We paid Mr Bissue ten thousand cedis (GH¢ 10,000.00).”
“Officials of IMCIM did not verify our concession document and did not make any demand for a power of attorney in the absence of the bona fide owner of the concession,” the article revealed.
He added that “we are of the considered opinion that the neglect and or failure to make a determination as to whether we were representatives of the owner was as a result of the money we paid to Mr. Bissue.”