The Police Criminal Investigations Department has been petitioned to arrest, investigate and prosecute Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi for alleged illegal mining.
The petition was signed by the Convener of the Media Coalition Against Galamsey, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey, private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, a Fellowoft Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Kwame Asiedu and Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu.
The call follows accusations of illegal mining against Akonta Mining Company, a mining firm said to belong to the politician and gold dealer, after a JoyNews documentary that featured the mining company in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve of the Ashanti Region.
Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor confirmed the allegation of illegal mining, stating that the company had no lease to mine and ordered it to halt operations.
According to the petition, the alleged act by Chairman Wontumi and his company was against the Mining Act, 2006 Act 703 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment Act) Act, 2019 (Act 995).
“Akonta Mining went in the Forest with excavators, pumping machines, power generators, cars, and other equipment. Then they cleared some parts of the forest of the trees and other vegetation. They subsequently excavated the soil and undertook other mining operations as shown in the videos,” the petitioners added.
They further stated that the company “conducted prospecting in the same Forest without the requisite licences/permits” hence the need to carry on with this move.
But before the action was taken, Private Legal Practitioner, Matin Kpebu had earlier declared his intention to lodge a complaint if the Police fail to take action.
Martin Kpebu pointed out that he is making this move because “President Akufo-Addo has shown that for him, he will cover up all erring appointees. That is his mantra.”
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