NDC lists 5 alleged kingpins they want Akufo-Addo to prosecute

NPP Galamsey The NDC says these individuals should be prosecuted

Fri, 7 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The largest opposition party in Ghana, the National Democratic Congress, has described the current efforts by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government against illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) as mere 'window dressing'.

According to the party, the Akufo-Addo government only engages in rhetoric rather than cracking the whip on its own officials and officials of the New Patriotic (NPP) who have been caught engaging in ‘galamsey’.

It has, therefore, demanded that President Akufo-Addo, as the first sign of his seriousness in the fight ‘galamsey’, orders the prosecution of five persons including his past appointees and leading members of the NPP.

Here are the five people NDC wants Akufo-Addo to prosecute

Former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng

The first person the NDC is demanding that the government prosecutes is the first Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation under Akufo-Addo’s presidency, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, for allegedly fuelling and profiting from illegal mining.

The former minister, in 2006 contested in the NPP flagbearership race for the December 2008 National Presidential Elections but lost to the current president, Akufo-Addo.

Kwabena Frimpong Boateng is a Ghanaian physician and cardiothoracic surgeon who established the National Cardiothoracic Centre and the Ghana Red Cross Society. He is also the President of the Ghana Heart Foundation and was the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

Prof Boateng has been accused by some Ghanaians including veteran journalist Kweku Boateng of owning a ‘galamsey’ site.

Claims that the renowned medical practitioner was involved in ‘galamsey’ heightened in 2020 when 500 excavators seized from illegal miners went missing under his watch.

Former secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Bissue

The second person the NDC wants prosecuted is the former secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, under President Akufo-Addo, Charles Bissue.

Mr. Bissue, in addition to his rule as the secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, was a presidential staffer. He was also a two-term Western Regional Secretary of the NPP and a member of the National Council of the party.

He recently indicated that he was going to contest in the race for the NPP’s General Secretary position but withdrew at the last minute.

Charles Bissue was implicated in an investigative documentary by Anas Aremeyaw Anas in 2019 as an alleged enabler for galamsey.

Bissue allegedly facilitated for ORR Resource Enterprise, a company seeking to circumvent laid down processes to be given clearance for its mining operations.

The matter was referred to Special Prosecutor, then Martin Amidu, but Bissue was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service before Amidu could finish with his investigations.

Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako

The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, a.k.a. Chairman Wontumi, is one of the names on the list of the NDC.

He has since 2018 been often accused without evidence of being the El Chapo of galamsey in Ghana.

The involvement of Wontumi in galamsey was highlighted by then Minority lawmaker Adam Mutawakilu in a July 2018 press conference in parliament.

“…The chief of Jakobu came out clearly [to tell me] that the CEO of the forestry commission and Wontumi, chairman of NPP in the Ashanti Region, are engaged in galamsey,” the former MP said.

Wontumi’s name came up again recently, when the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, directed the Forestry Commission to suspend the operations of Akonta Mining Company in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve of the Amenfi West Municipal Assembly.

According to a statement issued by the Public Affairs office of the Ministry on Friday, September 30, 2022, the company owned by Wontumi, has been engaging in mining activities in the forest without a permit.

Former First Vice-Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Central, Horace Ekow Ewusi:

The former First Vice-Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Central, Horace Ekow Ewusi, is another name on the list of the NDC.

Ekow Ewusi was supposedly arrested by the police over the 500 missing excavators used for illegal mining in 2020.

His arrest was after Prof Frimpong Boateng issued a letter directing the Criminal Investigation Department to arrest and interrogate him after learning that former Ekow Ewusi had sold some of the confiscated equipment from illegal miners.

Horace Ekow Ewusi also was caught on tape discussing galamsey plans with a former Minister of Environment, Science, and Technology.

In the said tape, Ekow Ewusi was heard detailing to Professor Frimpong Boateng how they can use galamsey to finance party activities.

He stated: "The last time you met my MP [Elvis Donkor] in Parliament, he told you that he will also need a machine to work with and you even asked him to come and see me because I have a lot of these excavators."

Professor Frimpong Boateng however denied the content of the leaked audio in a GhanaWeb interview.

Former aide to the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, Andy Owusu

The last name on the list of five names is the former aide to the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, Andy Owusu.

Andy Owusu was captured on tape with other persons who were purported to have received bribes in the exposé by Anas Aremeyaw Anas on galamsey in 2019.

Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas claimed that Andy Owusu charged GH¢50,000 for his services during undercover investigations and was paid a total of fifteen thousand cedis (GH¢15,000.00).

“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 “school boy” a national security operative for our safety at the illegal mining site”, he posted on his Facebook page.

You can watch this episode of People & Places here:

You can also watch this week's E-Forum below. This episode focuses on the death of Ekow Blankson.


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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