Climate Change & Energy
Galamsey: Prosecute Godfred Dame for clearing gov't officials involved in galamsey-NDC
Source: Ghenvironment.com - October 16, 2023
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling for the resignation of Attorney General and Minister of Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame, accusing him of failing to prosecute persons named in Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s report on illegal mining in Ghana.
The NDC’s call comes after the Attorney-General’s Department claimed that the allegations made by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and a former chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), in his report are unsubstantiated and do not provide sufficient evidence to prosecute the persons named.
The Attorney-General’s statement follows a review of a docket submitted by the police on the allegations contained in Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s 36-page report titled “Report on the work of IMCIM so far and the way forward.”
Speaking at the Moment of Truth Series at the NDC Headquarters in Accra, the party’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi also called on the Office of the Special Prosecutor to launch a thorough investigation into the matter.
“The NDC hereby demands the immediate resignation of the Attorney-General for his dubious attempt to cover up serious crimes that have been perpetrated against the state by corrupt government and NPP officials who are destroying our water bodies and forests through illegal mining.”
“More importantly, we wish to call on the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Kissi Adjabeng to expedite his investigations into this matter and to immediately prosecute all those found culpable,” he stated.
below is the full statement by the NDC
MOMENT OF TRUTH PRESS CONFERENCE
16th October, 2023
AG’S SUPPOSED ADVICE ON FRIMPONG BOATENG’S GALAMSEY REPORT IS NOTHING BUT A COVER-UP - HE MUST RESIGN IMMEDIATELY!
Good afternoon distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the media.
On behalf of the leadership of the great NDC, I wish to thank you for honoring our invitation at such notice, and to welcome you to our National Headquarters for today’s edition of our Moment of Truth series.
NDC SYMPATHIZES WITH VICTIMS OF AKOSOMBO DAM SPILLAGE.
Before we deal with the main subject-matter for today’s encounter, we wish to first express our heartfelt sympathies to our brothers and sisters of the North, South, and Central Tongu districts of the Volta Region who have been displaced by the devastating spillage from the Akosombo Dam.
Even as we sympathize with the victims of this disaster, we wish to reiterate the important call that has been made by our Flag-bearer and leader, H.E President John Dramani Mahama for the government of Ghana, acting through the Volta River Authority (VRA), the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and other relevant agencies to immediately provide the needed support for residents in the affected communities.
This must done as a matter of urgency to ameliorate the plight of our suffering compatriots.
Now to the main reason for today’s encounter.
ATTEMPT BY AG TO COVER-UP DAMNING REVELATIONS IN FRIMPONG BOATENG’S GALAMSEY REPORT
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the NDC has sighted a rather disgusting, self-serving and bizarre advice from the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, on the report on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining (IMCIM), authored by its Chairman and former Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Prof. Frimpong Boateng.
Having meticulously analysed the content of the Attorney-General's legal opinion, we have come to the irresistible conclusion that the said advice is nothing but a poor attempt to cover-up the complicity of officials of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government and the ruling NPP in the illicit galamsey trade.
For the avoidance of doubt, the claims by Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame that there is no evidence to substantiate the damning revelations contained in the 36-page Frimpong Boateng galamsey report are simply false.
The Attorney-General's latest step or call it a misstep, on the subject of this all-important, scathing Galamsey report, is part of the coordinated efforts to whitewash the crimes of many in government since this matter first broke.
Friends from the media, contrary to what the Attorney-General has come out to tell the world about the lack of evidential value of the Frimpong Boateng Galamsey report, there are ample pieces of evidence in the public domain that go to confirm several of the damning findings in the Frimpong Boateng “galamsey” report.
It is against this backdrop that we wish to remind Ghanaians and the Attorney-General about a few of the hard corroborative pieces of evidence which have been in the public domain and which confirm the assertions of the good-old Professor.
DONALD ENSTUAH AND HERITAGE IMPERIAL LIMITED.
1. A video documentary published by Joy News, titled “Forest under Siege” contains incontrovertible evidence that confirms the assertion by Prof. Frimpong Boateng to the effect that Emmanuel Donald Enstuah’s C&J Aleska, now Imperial Heritage Limited, has under the guise of prospecting engaged in illegal mining in the Kobro section of the Apamprama forest reserve in the Amansie area of the Ashanti Region.
Sometime in 2018, the anti-galamsey taskforce arrested and seized about thirty (30) excavators and mining equipment belonging to the company for engaging in illegal mining in the Kobro forest.
This incident was captured on video by Multimedia’s Erastus Asare Donkor in the presence of other eye witnesses who are still alive today.
At the time of the seizure of their equipment, the company had destroyed about 1000 hectares of the forest when all the company had at the time was a prospecting license.
These are indisputable facts, and the weight of such evidence cannot be glossed over by any impartial investigator or prosecutor.
In the face of this glaring evidence, it is preposterous for the Attorney-General to assert that there is no evidence to substantiate the damning assertions contained in Prof. Frimpong Boateng’s “galamsey” report.
THE STOLEN EXCAVATORS SCANDAL INVOLVING EKOW EWUSI, JOHN OFORI ATTA, SETH MANTEY AND OTHERS.
2. On the issue of the stealing and sale of seized excavators, it is an irrefutable fact, that Prof. Frimpong Boateng as Minister for Environment reported the then Central Regional Vice Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Horace Ekow Ewusi and others to the Police sometime in 2019, as the persons responsible for the missing excavators.
The advice of the Attorney-General recounts how Prof. Frimpong Boateng furnished the Police with the statement of one Seth Mantey, a journalist previously with Accra-based Peace FM in which the journalist formally confessed that he was the errand boy of one John Ofori Atta, Central Regional Security Coordinator, and a member of GalamStop, and that, in the course of the operation of GalamStop, he became a contact boy for miners whose excavators were seized by the task force.
In his statement to the Police, Seth Mantey confessed that miners were directed by John Ofori Atta to pay between GHS50,000 and GHS55,000 into his bank account at NIB to influence the anti-galamsey taskforce to release the seized excavators.
Seth Mantey further stated that all the monies paid into his bank account were withdrawn by him and paid to the Central Regional Security Coordinator, John Ofori Atta who gave Ekow Ewusi his share.
According to Seth Mantey, about twenty-seven (27) of the seized excavators were released to these miners.
All these facts are contained in Seth Mantey’s own statement which he gave to the Police upon his arrest in 2019.
More importantly, Prof. Frimpong Boateng has furnished the Police with the bank statement of the said NIB account belonging to Seth Mantey which confirms the aforementioned facts.
In the face of this smoking gun evidence, what other evidence does any reasonable prosecutor need to prosecute Seth Mantey, John Ofori Atta and Ekow Ewusi for the stolen/missing excavators?
In any case, what has the Police done about this scandal since the matter was formally reported by Prof. Frimpong Boateng in 2019?
The Attorney-General should tell Ghanaians about the outcome of this investigation if any, and how as AG, he worked with the Police to thoroughly investigate this matter in the interest of the public.
Why are the likes of Horace Ekow Ewusi, Seth Mantey and John Ofori Atta, who are the key perpetrators of this crime against the state, still walking free?
Why is Godfred Dame deferring the prosecution of the culprits in this matter under the guise of further investigations by the Police in the face of such smoking gun evidence?
How many years does the Police need to investigate this open and shut matter?
The evasive and shameless Attorney-General who is clearly out to pervert justice, must answer these pertinent questions.
MR. ALBERT JOSEPH QUARM AND THE ILLEGAL SALE OF MINING CONCESSIONS.
3. Friends from the media, on the issue of the complicity of Mr. Albert Joseph Quarm, former Member of Parliament for Manso Adubia, in the illegal sale of mining concessions, the former Ashanti Regional NADMO Boss and former 1st Regional Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party in the Ashanti Region by name Kwabena Senkyire, has publicly corroborated the assertions by Prof. Frimpong Boateng.
In an interview on Kumasi based Sompa FM, Kwabena Senkyire recounted how Mr. Albert Quarm approached him and asked that he provides him with his company certificate for a mining concession.
Kwabena Senkyire went on to say that, after supplying Mr. Quarm with his company certificate, he was called by the Minerals Commission one day and given documents pertaining to the ownership of a mining concession, only for the concession to be sold to one "Agya Wusu" without his consent.
Kwabena Senkyire asserted that he recorded one of his conversations with Mr. Albert Quarm and has evidence of these matters. He further averred, that he has officially reported the matter to the Police, National Security and the Office of Special Prosecutor and that he is willing to testify to same.
Ladies and gentlemen, in the face of this corroborative testimony; a confession by a willing witness who is readily identifiable and available, how can the Attorney-General say that there is no evidence to buttress the findings contained in Frimpong Boateng’s galamsey report relative to the alleged sale of mining concessions by Albert Quarm.
If we may ask;
Did the Police or Attorney-General invite Mr. Kwabena Senkyire or consider his testimony on this matter before coming to the conclusion that the Frimpong Boateng galamsey report is bereft of evidence?
Has the police even conducted any credible investigations into the official complaint that was filed by Mr. Kwabena Senkyire?
Has the police invited Mr. Albert Quarm to respond to the serious allegations leveled against him by Mr. Kwabena Senkyire?
Ladies and gentlemen, our intel from our reliable sources within the Ghana Police service, shows that no serious action has been taken by the Police on this important matter.
ILLEGAL MINING BY WONTUMI’S AKONTA MINING LIMITED.
4. In a related matter in respect of Akonta mining Limited, a company owned by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, it has been established beyond every reasonable doubt that the company illegally entered and operated in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve in breach of our mining and environmental laws.
This fact was confirmed by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources publicly in a press statement dated 30th September, 2022.
The matter was consequently reported to the Police. Yet, nothing has come out of it.
Ladies and gentlemen, it will interest you to know, that even in Samreboi where Akonta Mining is said to have a mining lease, evidence captured on tape shows that the company has been mining very close to the Tano river in breach of the 100 meter reserve threshold of the Minerals Commission. As a matter of fact, the company has been found to have redirected and polluted the Tano river heavily.
As we speak, Bernard Antwi Bosiako, also known as "Wontumi", the mastermind of this nation-wrecking conduct, is still walking free after polluting the Tano river through his illegal mining operations. The only reason why this is the case is because, the Attorney-General is not interested in prosecuting the directors of the company for their illegal mining activities.
Friends from the media, the foregoing facts point to one irresistible conclusion, which is that; the corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government is neck-deep in the illicit galamsey trade and will stop at nothing to cover-up their complicity. The extent of official complicity in this matter is as clear as daylight.
Like many environmentalists and patriotic voices, the NDC is deeply worried and appalled by the extent to which President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Alhaji Bawumia have gone to encourage and condone the destruction of Ghana’s environment. They have been active collaborators and promoters of the “galamsey trade”. Their actions through their Attorney-General to continuously protect corrupt officials of the ruling NPP and the government, speak loudly. Posterity will never forgive them.
Indeed, as far back as 22nd April 2023, the Office of the President in commenting on the 36-page leaked “galamsey” report “ stated, that the report is “a catalogue of personal grievances”, and that the claims in the report were unfounded and amounted to “hearsay.”
This was followed by an advice by the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame on 11th May, 2023, for the damning Frimpong Boateng “galamsey” report to be given “little attention”, a comment that was widely published by the media.
Little wonder, that the Attorney-General will in September 2023 advise that the said report lacks evidence to ground any prosecution. The sinister agenda by Godfred Dame to downplay and cover-up the damning “galamsey” report and the revelations therein, was manifestly clear right from the outset.
In short, the so-called advice from the Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame is nothing but a cover-up calculated to whitewash the incessant corruption and nation-wrecking conduct of officials of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government and the ruling NPP, who have been indicted by Prof. Frimpomg Boateng for engaging in galamsey.
The advice from the Attorney-General and principal legal advisor to the Government is a big insult to the sensibilities of the nation. We call on the general public to treat same with utmost contempt.
This is the same way the “galamsey fraud scandal” by Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas was covered-up and the perpetrators which included a Presidential Staffer by name Charles Bissue, left of the hook. Ghanaians must not allow this government to get away with this scandal.
It does appear, that the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame is following after the footsteps of his Boss, President Akufo-Addo who has become known as the "Clearing Agent of corruption".
Quite clearly, Godfred Dame does not befit the stature of the high office of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for this country because he simply does not have the interest of the nation at heart.
The NDC hereby demands the immediate resignation of the Attorney-General for his dubious attempt to cover-up serious crimes that have been perpetrated against the state by corrupt government and NPP officials who are destroying our water bodies and forests through illegal mining.
More importantly, we wish to call on the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Kissi Adjabeng to expedite his investigations into this matter and to immediately prosecute all those found culpable.
Fellow countrymen and women, our collective survival as a people is at stake. Our beloved country is fast losing its flora, fauna and water resources. We are fast becoming endangered species due to the greed and selfishness of a few government officials, party apparatchiks and irresponsible persons who are recklessly engaging in illegal mining with impunity.
We cannot sit aloof and allow this canker to fester. If we close our eyes to the evil going on, we shall all bear the consequences of the actions of these miscreants who are destroying our water bodies, lands and forests in search of gold to satisfy their greed.
This is why we must all take keen interest in investigations into this matter. We cannot and must not accept any shoddy investigation or farcical attempt to whitewash this monumental scandal.
The NDC calls on you, our friends in the media, the fourth estate of the realm to join us to demand accountability from our duty bearers. We owe this a solemn duty to our country and generations unborn.
Enough of the plundering and destruction of our lands, forests and water bodies. All government officials and party apparatchiks, who have in one way or the other engaged in illegal mining must be arrested, prosecuted and punished no matter whose ox is gored.
We hereby serve notice, that even if they are left off the hook today, they will not escape the long arms of the law tomorrow, because crime has no expiry date.
Until this is done, we shall make no headway in our fight against illegal mining and our beloved country, will have no sustainable future.
Thank you for your attention, ladies and gentlemen.
Sammy Gyamfi Esq.
National Communications Officer