Renowned scientist and former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has recently shared his encounter with the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in a candid account.
This comes after he received an invitation on May 3, 2023, requesting his presence to address allegations of corruption and corruption-related offenses pertaining to the operations and expenditures of the now-disbanded Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, which he presided over.
In compliance with the OSP’s invitation, Professor Frimpong-Boateng appeared before the authorities on May 16, 2023. However, the disclosure of this event only surfaced on June 7, garnering attention and raising public interest.
In a comprehensive 37-page document, the former chairperson of the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining explicitly accused government officials of involvement in illicit mining activities or obstructing his efforts to combat this environmental menace.
According to him, he was asked some questions relating to his work on the IMCIM after which he was surprisingly told he was under arrest.
“The background is that I received a letter from the OSP on May 13 or 14 to appear before them. I was to report on May 16 at 10:00 a.m. I did. The letter said they were investigating corruption and corruption-related activities of the IMCIM, which disturbed me a bit. I thought they were going to stop illegal mining, but anyway, I went there and was ushered into a room. My lawyers were next to me, and the Principal Investigator and some officers from that office were opposite me.
“The Chief Investigator put his left hand on my shoulder and said, ‘You are under arrest.’ I asked, ‘Why am I under arrest? What are my charges?’ ‘Well, there are no specific charges. We are investigating corruption and corruption-related activities on the committee you chaired,” he said in an interview with Joy News.
“He asked if I was ready to answer some questions and I told him I would do my best. I was asked a lot of questions, and it took a little over 2 hours. After that, I was told I had to be bailed before I would be released. I was offered self-recognizance bail. A friend was in the lobby, so he came up and bailed me, and I left. I was told that if the need arises, I would be invited back to the office. That is what happened. And of course, some of the OSP officers went to see my friend’s place where he was staying to make sure that if I absconded, he would be able to produce me before the court.
“I don’t feel comfortable going over the questions they asked me, because this is a prosecutor investigating me. It was a broad-based question on many topics, and I answered as best as I could. And so that was it. No, they didn’t come to my house,” he added.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng was later granted a self-recognizance bail of GH¢2 million.
The heart surgeon explained that his friend bailed him and that the OSP visited his friend’s house for some verification before he was released.