Former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng says he is not surprised that the Office of the Attorney General said his report on illegal mining is empty.
In a report issued by Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson after reviewing a docket submitted by the police on the allegations contained in a 36-page document by Prof Frimpong Boateng, the office said there was no evidence to prosecute the persons named in the report.
The State Attorney said it could not recommend the prosecution of any of the persons named in the report and asked the police to discharge the persons mentioned except those still under investigation.
In a statement, the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) said he “would have been extremely surprised if AG’s opinion had been otherwise” because it involved government officials.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng pointed out that the destruction of the water bodies by alleged criminals will be evident.
In his report, the renowned surgeon cited some individuals including Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, NPP stalwart Gabby Otchere-Darko, and presidential staffers among others.
Professor Frimpong also accused a former NPP MP in the Ashanti Region of selling illegally acquired concessions at GH¢200,000 each.
However, some of the persons indicted in the report denied the allegations amidst threats to take legal action.
The AG says it awaits the outcome of the investigations being conducted in the case involving Seth Mantey, John Ofori Atta, and Ekow Ewusi who were also cited in the report.
Read his statement below:
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.