June 21, 2024
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‘Galamsey still a challenge; continues to threaten our very survival’ – Akufo-Addo

Galamsey is still around and threatening the survival of Ghanaians, President Nana Akufo-Addo has conceded.

At the natural resource stakeholders dialogue in Accra on Thursday, 11 May 2023, the president said: “Even though a lot has been achieved in this area between 2017 and 2021, illegal small-scale mining remains a challenge and continues to pose a threat to our very survival.”

“But,” he noted, “we cannot rest while these illegalities still persist.”

A few weeks ago, the presidency described as “hearsay” a 37-page galamsey report authored by Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who served as a minister of environment, science, technology and Innovation as well as the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, in which he named government appointees and officials at the presidency, of either supporting or being involved in galamsey.

Jubilee House said the report was a collection of personal grievances of the world-renowned heart surgeon in his galamsey fight.

One of those he named, Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a relative to President Nana Akufo-Addo, has sued the former minister for defamation.

Others, such as Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and the Director of Operations at the Jubilee House, Mr Lord Commey, have denied being involved in galamsey or frustrating the fight against it.

Meanhwile, the attorney general has also said the report only contains the views of Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng. 

In Mr Godfred Dame’s opinion, the former IMCIM chairman did not give the full perspective of things in the leaked report.

“I realise that even if the report made reference to Heritage Imperial – which you just brought up –significantly, it omitted reference to the judgment that has been set aside and all that. I think that these are very important matters and all that,” Mr Dame told Kojo Yankson in a yet-to-air interview.

“Preliminarily, I indicate or suggest that it is not the full perspective of issues that were addressed by the respected professor, and it’s just his view on certain matters,” Mr Dame noted.

He, nonetheless indicated that “it is being put through the processes and I understand that there are some petitions at CHRAJ and Special Prosecutor’s office, and that is the process that we all have to subscribe to.”

He insisted the report is the surgeon’s view of things when asked if that description was fair.

“Yes, because even an as attorney general, when I take a matter to court, it’s my view on the matter, and many a time, the court does not subscribe to our view,” he explained.

Mr Dame said “there were some convictions in the Eastern Region” relating to galamsey, explaining: “Two persons were sentenced to terms of, at least, 18 years.

“This morning, I confirmed with my Eastern regional head that [with] one of them, the conviction was set aside on appeal, and the convictions relating to one of them were affirmed.”

“So, really, a report or a statement by the attorney general does not constitute evidence against any person. The evidence would have to be adduced before the proper forum. So, the statement set out in a report, emanating from a person respected, yes, in my view, has to be tested. There is no basis for a person to accord any sanctity to such a report,” the attorney general insisted.

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Source: classfmonline.com

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