Bosome Freho DCE, Yaw Danso

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ashanti Region says government’s failure to arrest and prosecute Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, aka Chairman Wontumi shows President Akufo-Addo has lost the illegal mining fight.

Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi, the NDC Regional Communication Director observed that it is hypocritical for the president to suspend the Bosome Freho District Chief Executive (DCE), Yaw Danso, while the New Patriotic Party regional chairman remains untouched.

Abass Nurudeen said it was an “insult of the highest degree” for President Akufo-Addo to “parade” Chairman Wontumi in front of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during his recent visit to Manhyia, while vowing to fight galamsey.

“If President Akufo-Addo has any respect for the chiefs and people of the Ashanti region, he must distance himself from his Ashanti Regional Chairman Wontumi who has gained notoriety for the very act he purports to be fighting.”

According to him, the suspension of Yaw Danso, “is meaningless if it does not culminate in the arrest and prosecution of the galamsey grandpapa Wontumi.”

Arrest Wontumi

A statement issued on October 13, 2022 by the Media Coalition Against Galamsey called for the immediate arrest of the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP for his alleged involvement in illegal mining activities.

The Coalition said Bernard Antwi-Boasiako aka Wontumi is complicit in flouting mining laws especially in the Tano Nimri Forest Reserve – a claim he has repeatedly denied.

In a related development, the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, John Jinapor, dared President Akufo-Addo and the Attorney General to prosecute Akonta Mining Company Limited which is owned by Mr Antwi-Boasiako.

“It is the President’s own people and top people within his own party who are actively involved in illegal mining and we have said that if indeed he is committed to the fight against galamsey, he should start with his own people that will then send a signal that he is indeed serious and determine to fight this menace.

"The President and his Ministers and his government must show commitment by taking on this company,” he said.

OSP probes public officials over galamsey

Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng has started investigating some public officials over their alleged involvement in illegal mining.

The investigation targets some officials of the Lands Ministry, the Forestry Commission, and the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).

In the case of the Committee, it will consider the issues regarding the seizure and management of excavators, machinery, road vehicles and gold nuggets.

In a press release issued on Monday, October 10, the Office of the Special Prosecutor said there is an ongoing enquiry into allegations of use of public office for profit against Charles Bissue during his tenure as secretary to the IMCIM.

“The investigation further targets the activities of Akonta Mining Limited and other companies; nationals of foreign countries allegedly involved in illegal mining, and allegations of corruption and corruption-related offences against some Municipal and District Chief Executives and political party officials,” the press release added.

Government officials in galamsey

President Akufo Addo has vowed to deal with persons within his government who may be found complicit in illegal mining activities.

The President said the government has for several years been struggling with the fight against ‘galamsey’, hence government officials cannot continue to compromise efforts against the menace.

“I am not here to threaten anybody, but I want you to know that this is a struggle that I take very seriously and I will not be in a position to protect anybody against who evidence is massed up about their complicity in this matter.

“I am a lawyer and I always deal with facts and when the facts are brought against you, you will be invited to comment on them. If the response is not satisfactory, you can guess to yourself what the consequences will be,” the President said.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.