The Senior Minister has justified the decision to truncate the prosecution of a Chinese national who brazenly engaged in illegal mining despite several warnings.
Yaw Osafo Marfo said jailing Aisha Huang, nicknamed ‘Galamsey Queen’ wouldn’t have solved Ghana’s economic challenges.
Addressing a townhall meeting abroad, the Senior Minister said Ghana has great diplomatic relationship with China and intends to partner them in key infrastructural projects citing the $2 billion Sinohydro deal.
“Today, the main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us,” he said.
"So, when there are these kinds of arrangements, there are other things behind the scenes. Putting that lady [Aisha] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your economic problems.
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo
“It is not going to make you happy or me happy, that's not important, the most important thing is that she has been deported from Ghana..." he added.
Miss Aisha was arraigned before court on May 9, 2017, for engaging in galamsey activities at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region.
Senior journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako had said on MultiTV/Joy FM’s Newsfile show that she has video recordings of sexual encounters with powerful politicians and security capos which she uses for blackmail.
He said that enables her to wriggle herself out of the claws of the law.
According to him, her connections gives her the power to take people's land at will and mine as she pleases because the law is consistently held in abeyance for her, allowing her to act with impunity.
Miss Huang leaving the court before her deportation from Ghana
Subsequently, the Attorney General’s office in December 2018 withdrew the case against her and four other Chinese nationals believed to be engaging in illegal mining. They were hurriedly repatriated to their country.
The Media Coalition Against Galamsey expressed its worry over the decision of the state to discontinue the prosecution of the notorious illegal miner.
In a petition to the Attorney-General, the coalition has asked that the chief state prosecutor explain why she dropped the charges.
The Coalition was unimpressed with the deportation of the ‘galamsey queen’ as it says this would send the wrong message; that is, foreigners can enter Ghana and deplete the land and leave without punishment.
“We…humbly petition you, Attorney General, [Gloria Akuffo] to offer an explanation for the Nolle Prosequi filed,” the statement said.
But defending the decision, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo said government made the right call.
“We have a very good relationship with China.
"...I am saying that there are many other things beyond what we see in these matters and everybody is wide awake, the most important thing is that we have banned this...we have established regulations and we are protecting our environment.
“That is far more important than one Chinese woman who has been deported out of the country," he said amidst dissent from some people at the venue.
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