Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has called for a national probe into Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s illegal mining report. 

The Ajumako Enyan Essiam legislator said the issues in the report cannot be left unaddressed. 

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, April 25, Dr Forson insisted that the issues in the report are damning. 

According to him, the report confirms that the entire galamsey fight was a facade for the government to enrich its party folks. 

“To confirm the grand collusion, despite a Cabinet directive in 2019 to suspend the issuance of new licenses and permits, more illegal miners, including Chinese gangs, entered Ghana’s forest reserves with the help of government officials, and the destruction of Ghana’s forests and environment continued unabated.

“These revealing issues and several others in the damning report call for a national probe,” he posted on Facebook. 

Prof Boateng, the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) has submitted names of people in government who frustrated his effort to fight what is locally called ‘galamsey’ when he was Environment Minister.

In the said document, the renowned surgeon mentioned some individuals he claims frustrated his effort and the committee he chaired from addressing the canker.

“Throughout our struggle with illegalities in the small-scale mining sector, what baffled me was the total disregard of the President’s commitment to protecting the environment.

“I can state without any equivocation that many party officials from the national to the unit committee level had their friends, PAs, agents, relatives, financiers, or relatives engaged in illegal mining. Most of them engaged Chinese working for them. 

“I am not referring to party people who had their legitimate concession and were mining sustainably as they were instructed to do.

“There are appointees in the Jubilee House that are doing or supporting illegal mining or interfering with the fight against the menace,” excerpts of the document said.

Professor Frimpong also accused a former NPP MP in the Ashanti Region of selling illegally acquired concessions at GH¢200,000 each.

According to him, this “infuriated the party in the constituency so during the 2020 primaries to select a candidate the electorate voted against NPP MP, the then sitting MP, who was more resourced than other candidates. 

However, some of the persons mentioned in the report have denied same. 

For instance,  President Akufo-Addo’s cousin, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has rejected the allegations. 

According to the NPP stalwart, he only called the renowned medical doctor to seek information on his client – a company that had the permits to mine in the country.

“Heritage had a mining exploration permit issued in July 2019, a forest entry permit issued in November 2018, and also an EPA permit yet the soldiers went and seized the equipment of Heritage and so I called the soldiers and was told that it was the Minister who had sanctioned them and so I asked the Minister what the issue was with the equipment seizures and the Minister said they were prospecting and not exploring and that was the conversation that we had.

“My intervention was to understand why a legitimate company with all the requisite permits was stopped from doing their work and that is what lawyers do,” he said in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM on Thursday, April 20. 

He added that Prof Frimpong-Boateng deliberately twisted his mediation to cause public disaffection for him.

“The Minister deliberately twisted the inquiry by a lawyer of a client’s issue to be an interference and the thing is, it was even a phone call that lasted not more than four minutes, and he ended by saying Heritage shouldn’t have been issued with the license,” Mr Otchere-Darko explained.

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