Let’s give him a hand: Akufo-Addo has graciously ‘fixed’ Ghana’s bauxite

AKUFO ADDO PRINT6.png President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 Source: Kwaku Badu

If you may remember, sometime in 2017, the Economic Advisor to the Vice President (Dr Bawumia), Dr Gideon Boako, revealed that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has no moral right cautioning the NPP administration against leveraging Ghana’s natural resources, specifically bauxite through its partnership with China, since the Mahama’s administration capriciously gave away 58 percent of Ghana’s bauxite concession to Ibrahim Mahama, the sibling of former President Mahama (See: NDC sold 58% of bauxite concession to Ibrahim Mahama – Gideon Boako; citifmonline.com, 29/06/2017).

Observers contend that the most telling of the numerous scandals occurred during Mahama administration, was the 30 years bauxite mining lease which was issued by the Ghana Mineral Commission to Ibrahim Mahama and his partners on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week for his brother’s government to exit power.

Many discerning Ghanaians fretted thy souls with curses and condemnations over the cloudy deal.

The well-meaning Ghanaians contended forcefully that such a venture was nepotistic and therefore must not and cannot be allowed to proceed without challenging its authenticity.

On assumption of office, the Akufo-Addo administration promised solemnly to probe the seemingly dubious bauxite deal between the Government of Ghana and Exton Cubic, the partners of former President Mahama’s sibling, Ibrahim Mahama.

Consequently, the Exton Cubic’s permit to undertake prospecting in the Nyinahini Forest Reserve was contested in somewhere August 2017 by the then Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Mr John-Peter Amewu.

Mr Amewu argued poignantly that Exton Cubic did not have the necessary documentation to undertake mining (dailyguideafrica.com, 24/11/2017).”

Subsequently, the multi-billion cedi bauxite concession granted to Exton Cubic was revoked in September 2017 after the former Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, had contested vehemently that the contract to Exton Cubic was invalid.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, then went ahead and seized the equipment belonging to Exton Cubic, as Exton Cubic as alleged to be blissfully prospecting without a valid documentation at the Nyinahini bauxite concession.

The management of the Exton Cubic disagreed, arguing forcefully that the revocation of licenses and the confiscation of mining equipment were unfair as Exton Cubic was in possession of three required permits.

The leadership of Exton Cubic therefore took the matter to the High Court of Ghana. And, on February 8, 2018, the High Court ruled that, the erstwhile Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, did not have power to revoke the mining licenses granted to Exton Cubic to prospect for bauxite.

Following on from the High Court’s verdict, the then Attorney General, Madam Gloria Akufo, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, submitted an ex-parte application to the Apex court, contending vehemently that ‘the lower court’s decision ‘undermines efficient administration of justice’.

The apex court of Ghana, however, maintained that the granting of ‘3 mining leases in favour of Exton Cubic was in breach of the Constitution and section 12 of the Minerals and Mining Act, Act 703’.

The justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana explained that their verdict was predicated on the fact that the Exton Cubic knowingly or unknowingly failed to comply with mandatory provisions of the Minerals and Mining Act and article 268 of the Constitution of Ghana.

Shockingly, however, during the 2020 electioneering campaign, the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer, former President Mahama promised that in the event of returning to the presidency in 2021, all the revoked mining licences would be reinstated.

Apparently the only company, whose mining licences were rightly revoked by the Supreme Court of Ghana, was the Exton Cubic, Ibrahim Mahama’s partners.

Whatever the case, it was unfair for former President Mahama to assume somewhat spuriously that it was rather Akufo-Addo, who without recourse to the law, arbitrarily prevented Exton Cubic from mining Ghana’s bauxite.

We can, therefore, draw an adverse inference that former President Mahama was immersed in a gamut of emotions over the apex court’s rational decision that the granting of ‘3 mining leases in favour of Exton Cubic, the partners of his sibling, Mr Ibrahim Mahama, was in breach of the Constitution and section 12 of the Minerals and Mining Act, Act 703’.

We are, therefore, most grateful to President Akufo-Addo for safeguarding Ghana’s bauxite from being given away for pittance

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu