Investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has sent a strong message to his critics that neither the threats on his life by those who disagree with him nor the noise and politics will deter him from working to make Ghana great and strong again.
According to him, since “Ghana is a land that was secured with blood and toils, insults, tantrum and name-calling will always be a small price to pay in comparison, we reject as false, the choice between our safety and our ideals and we are prepared to go by the government’s directive to be vetted and verified by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, IMCIM.”
This was in a one-minute twenty-four seconds video posted on his Facebook timeline with the caption, ‘Happy Independence Day, Ghana. The power of the people is greater than the people in power.’
Some parts of the video capture the independence struggle of Ghana as well as some negative stories that have been published about his work including the killing of his “second-in-command” Ahmed Hussein-Suale.
Anas’ work has come under strict scrutiny after the Number 12 exposé with critics including some of his colleague journalists questioning his modus operandi, saying it is not part of the canons of journalism but he explained that, “my type of journalism has always been the last resort. No matter the threats, noise and politics, we’ll work to make the nation great and strong”.
In his recent exposé dubbed ‘Galamsey Fraud’ Anas figured the former Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Nanabanyin Bissue, who was seen in the video abusing his office, breaching his fiduciary duties and engaging in bribery and corruption.
“One Andy Owusu, a link man for Mr Bissue charged his team GH¢50,000 before meeting Mr Bissue, we negotiated for GH¢40,000 which he accepted, out of this amount he accepted part payment of GH¢15,000.00).”
“Andy Owusu told my team how much Mr Bissue was ready to accept to ‘fast track’ the process of acquiring mining licence for his company, ORR Resource Enterprise and then link “school boy”, a national security operative for the safety of ORR Resource Enterprise at the illegal mining site.
“ORR Resource Enterprise has presented itself as a small scale mining company, whose licence to mine had expired. In spite of this expiration, we still wanted to mine, under the road map for the lifting of the ban on artisanal and small scale mining and the way forward prepared by the committee and published in August 2018, it was agreed the miners can go back to mine when the ban was lifted only after meeting certain requirements.
“Contrary to the verification and vetting procedure as listed, Mr Bissue circumvented some of the procedures for ORR Resources Enterprise for a fee, we did not go through any vetting procedure, we did not go through the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Resources Commission and Forestry Commission. Mr Bissue took care of all of that for ORR,” Anas Aremeyaw Anas noted.
Anas’ ORR Resources Enterprise paid Mr Bissue a total of GH¢35,000.00 in cash. Their first payment of GH¢15,000.00 was made on January 22, 2019, through Mr Owusu. They made a second payment of GH¢10,000.00 on January 30, 2019 at the same place, the last payment was on February 8, 2019 and paid Mr Bissue GH¢10,000.00.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas reiterated that officials of the committee did not verify the concession document, did not make any demand for a power of attorney in the absence of the bona fide owner of the concession as a result of money paid to Mr Bissue.