Climate Change & Energy
AG’s opinion on Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s ‘galamsey’ report is a cover up- NDC
Source: myjoyonline.com - October 11, 2023
The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame of lacking interest in prosecuting government officials engaged in corruption-related offences.
Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday, October 10, he said due to this, the NDC has never had confidence in the Attorney General.
He explained that the AG has never prosecuted any government official in the ruling party – the New Patriotic Party for any acts of corruption, adding that “he has not done so because he is not interested in fighting corruption, neither is he interested in protecting the interest of the people.”
Based on the above, Samy Gyamfi says he believes that "This latest advice from his office on the Frimpong Boateng’s damning report (on the involvement of government officials in illegal mining) is yet another attempt by this Attorney General to cover up clear acts of corruption on the path of government officials and members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP),” he said.
Gyamfi's comment follows the Attorney General's advice that former Environment Minister, Prof Frimpong Boateng's allegations in his report on illegal mining activities in the country are empty and do not have evidence to prosecute the persons named in it.
The Attorney General therefore asked the police to discharge the persons mentioned in the report except those still under investigation.
But Mr Gyamfi shared a different opinion on the matter and according to him, there are ample pieces of evidence to support most of the claims contained in Prof Frimpong Boateng’s report.
He mentioned a couple of them while citing JoyNews’ documentary on illegal mining titled “Forest under Siege.”
“On the matter concerning Donald Ntia – Prof Boateng says this gentleman has been engaging in illegal mining under the guise of prospecting... but what the company is actually engaged in is illegal mining… the evidence is there in that documentary.”
He therefore questioned what sort of evidence the Attorney General is looking for to be convinced.
Meanwhile, A Member of Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee, Edward Bawa has criticised the modus operandi the Office of the Attorney-General has adopted in handling Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng's report on illegal mining in the country.
According to Mr Bawa, the Attorney General’s opinion on the matter was issued prematurely since the police have not thoroughly completed investigations into the allegations contained in the report.
Mr Bawa, the lawmaker for Bongo constituency questioned the timing of the Attorney General's actions, noting that the office issued an opinion before requesting further investigation.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he further suggested that the publication by Mr Dame's outfit is an attempt to create gaps in the investigation to make it non-prosecutable in order to protect government officials.
“For him to hurriedly issue an opinion and then ask that they continue the investigation, I just feel that it was premature, it was an attempt to create gaps in the investigation such that it is not prosecutable.
“And to a very large extent, the persons involved in this were too close to the extent that it was difficult to look into their eyes and tell them ‘Guy what you did is wrong,’” he said.
During the discussion, Bawa also raised concerns about the government's commitment to addressing the issues outlined in the report.
He claimed that the government had, in his view, intentionally stalled action on the report.
"The government was not committed to ever working on that report," he asserted. "They had seen it and had decided to, as usual, find one reason or the other to shelve it or cover it up."
On April 20, the former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, named some top government officials as being complicit in the illegal mining menace.
The renowned heart surgeon indicated that the rot goes as high as the seat of government, the Jubilee House.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng stressed that the allegations of some 500 missing excavators seized from illegal miners in 2020 were fabrications of some persons in the government to get him out of the way.
Since his revelation, there has been an increase in calls for accountability from both government officials and individuals involved in illegal mining activities.
Mr Bawa’s comments add to the growing controversy surrounding the handling of the report on illegal mining, as it suggested a lack of urgency and transparency in addressing the alleged wrongdoing and environmental damage caused by illegal mining operations.
Ghana Environmental Advocacy Group
October 11, 2023