A D&D Fellow in Public Law and Justice at CDD-Ghana, Prof Kweku Asare has called for strict sanctions to be applied to anyone who played a direct or indirect role in the explosion that occurred at Apeatse on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

He noted that the company issuing a press statement as a way of taking responsibility for the damage caused is not accountable enough.

“Accidents do happen and there is no doubt that the accident here is the actual cause of the problem. But accidents do not cause the kind of carnage we are witnessing. Rather, the negligent transportation of explosives on the Bogoso highway, the absence of enforcement, is the proximate cause of the carnage,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday.

While acknowledging that accidents do happen, he pointed out that this particular accident was due to the negligence of people who failed to ensure that laws are enforced and the right thing is done.

He bemoaned the failure of agencies responsible to ensure the enforcement of the country’s laws, although they have been beautifully crafted.

He stated for instance that LI 2177 was crafted to avoid such instances but the failure of enforcement and compliance with the law led to the incident.

“Very saddened by the tragic events of Bogoso. And equally upset that we have reduced our laws to mere suggestions. We have crafted LI 2177 to avoid the carnage we are witnessing at Bogoso. Amongst its many sensible and stringent regulations, it requires the vehicle compartments in which explosives are transported to be covered with sheet metal and lined with treated wood to render it non-inflammable.

“The compartment should be ventilated, the vehicle should be clearly marked with the danger sign, there are fire extinguisher rules, driver training requirements, etc. But to what effect, if these regulations are not enforced?” Prof Kweku Asare quizzed.

He added that “the mining company must be held accountable for the carnage! I see, at least, $100M of damages. But that’s not all. Who are those responsible for enforcing L1 2177? They must all be held accountable,” he said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, a press release taking responsibility is not accountability. People must be fired, prosecuted, demoted, etc. And I repeat, laws are not self-enforcing. We can write and rewrite them as often as we want but they are pretty useless if we are not going to enforce them or selectively do so,” he added.

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