Former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, says he is not surprised that the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame decided to down play his report on illegal mining otherwise known as ‘galamsey’ and chose not to prosecute government officials mentioned in the report.
“I am not surprised. I would have been extremely surprised if A-G’s opinion had been otherwise”, he stated in a press statement issued on Thursday in response to an advice by the Attorney-General to the police not to prosecute some of the named officials in the report with the explanation that, Prof Frimpong Boateng failed to support his allegations with evidence.
This exoneration comes in response to a detailed 36-page report titled “Report on the work of IMCIM so far and the way forward,” by Professor Frimpong Boateng. In this report, he made startling allegations, where he revealed that certain government officials and private individuals were engaged in illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey.
Among those singled out in the report for their alleged involvement in these illicit mining activities were Laud Commey, Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, Frank Asiedu Bekoe, also known as Protozoa, Joseph Albert Quarm, Charles Owusu, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Captain (Rtd.) Edmund Kojo Koda, Donald Entsuah, and an unnamed former Member of Parliament representing the Wassa East Constituency.
However, the Attorney-General, in an advice to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, said that investigations by the Police have not revealed any evidence in support of the allegations.
“The allegations are therefore bare and do not provide a basis for any criminal charge against the persons cited in the Report,” the Attorney-General said.
Read below the full statement by Prof. Frimpong Boateng:
RESPONSE TO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S REPORT
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng
My attention has been drawn to a publication dated 12th September 2023 by the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice concerning the report on illegal mining that I presented to the Office of the Chief of Staff at the Presidency in March 2021.
The Attorney General is of the opinion that the report dated 19th March 2021 (and not 19th March 2019 as stated by the Attorney General), contains claims that are unfounded and lack the supporting documentation necessary to bring the named parties to justice.
I am not at all surprised with that characterization by the Attorney General. According to a Graphic Online report filed by Kweku Zurek as far back as 22nd April 2023, the Office of the President was said to have referred to the report as a catalogue of personal grievances and that the claims in the report were unfounded and amounted to hearsay.
Attorney General, Godfred Dame, followed up and advised that little attention be given to Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s report on illegal mining. This was reported in the Editorial of the Online TODAY on 12th May 2023.
If the Attorney General comes back in September 2023 and reports that … “we do not find any evidence in support of the allegations made against the persons cited in the Report with the exception of….”, I am not surprised. I would have been extremely surprised if AG’s opinion had been otherwise.
I guess the Attorney General, the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II was also wrong and had no evidence when he said politicians and powerful businessmen are behind the wanton destruction of lands and water bodies, as reported by Ohemeng Tawiah on MyJoyOnline on 26th October 2022.
I also believe, to the Attorney General, there are no party people involved in illegal mining; there are no government appointees churning the soils in our forests and farmlands for gold; there are no Chinese engaged in illegal mining. We are to believe that all the documentaries filed by Mr. Erastus Asare Donkor on illegal mining are untrue and fake. I wish the Attorney General would have told Ghanaians why there was no action on my report and waited for more than two years when I have been out of office to now tell Ghanaians that, there is no evidence to prosecute those implicated in the report.
We can all close our eyes and bagatellize the destruction of the environment and its biodiversity, but the reality of these criminal actions by people who have no conscience and love for the country will be evident in the near future if not soon.