The Builsa South legislator has petitioned the Office of Special Prosecutor demanding the prosecution of members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Forestry Commission officials.

Dr Clement Apaak says all those cited in the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) investigative report for taking bribes to facilitate illegal rosewood export, should be brought to book.

A report by the Washington-based Agency claimed that powerful Chinese and Ghanaian traffickers are still harvesting and shipping rosewood out of the country. 

This the group said is done through “the help of ruling party members and complicity at all levels of government” despite a government ban. 

“They have established an institutionalized scheme, fueled by bribes, to mask the illegal harvest, transport, export, and CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species]- licensing of the timber,” the report said.

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Clement Apaak, Builsa South MP

Appalled by such a development, Mr Apaak who addressing a news conference on the issue in Accra, Wednesday, called on Martin Amidu to look into the issue.

Dr Apaak said it was worrying that one of the most influential Ghanaian traffickers who spoke to the EIA undercover investigator alleged that some seized “containers were about to be auctioned to him thanks to his [political] connections”.

“Clearly, the rule of law has been thrown to the dogs in this country. The lives of Ghanaians are being undermined and the environment is being desecrated just because a political party needs to help its members to make money.”

Mr Apaak said he is using the EIA report as well as the video in which the traffickers mentioned the names of the FC officials involved in the trade were attached to it as evidence to his petition to Mr Amidu.  

He also added Joy News’ ‘Killing our roses’ documentary to his petition. 

The MP said he is convinced the OSP will be prompt to act on the petition.

The ranking member on Parliament’s Education Committee said described the development as the highest form of injustice which is nothing near what Ghanaians voted for. 

He called on President Akufo-Addo to institute an investigation into what has happened and to ensure that those involved in the illegal trade are punished. 

“He should begin by dismissing the CEO of Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie [Sir John], who will obviously be complicit because of his dual responsibility as a leading NPP member and the man in charge od the Commission. 

“Secondly he should also fire his Lands Minister, Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh, for supervising this rot…he should have done the honourable thing by resigning by now,” he said. 

Click here to read Dr Apaak’s petition in full