Four Ghanaians have petitioned the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to investigate and prosecute Akonta Mining Limited, a mining firm, Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wonntumi), and others for alleged illegal mining (galamsey) in the Tano Nimiri Forest.
According to the petitioners; Ken Ashibey, Martin Kpebu, Kwame Aseidu and Edem Senanu, mining in the forest was contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) as amended by the Minerals and Mining ( amended act) Act, 2019( Act 995).
The forest lies between Amenfi West and Aowin municipalities in the Western and the Western North regions respectively. Mr Boasiako is the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party.
The petition dated October 13, 2022, was addressed to the Director-General of the CID, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Faustina Agyeiwaa Kodua Andoh-Kwofie.
It said a review of a documentary by Multimedia’s Erastus Asare Donkor, attached to the petition, showed that in the months of August and September 2022 or thereabouts, the aforementioned persons, mined illegally.
“Indeed, the same persons conducted prospecting in the same Forest without the requisite licences/permits,” the petition said.
It said the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu in a press statement on September 30, 2022 confirmed that Akonta Mining had no business going into the Forest to conduct any mining or related operations.
The Minister subsequently confirmed the illegality in an interview on Joy FM while the Minerals Commission also confirmed the illegality in a press statement dated October 3, 2022.
It said copies of all those statements had been attached to the petition.
Giving details of the illegal conduct, it said, Akonta Mining went into the Forest with excavators, pumping machines, power generators, cars, and other equipment.
It said they cleared some parts of the forest of the trees and other vegetation and subsequently excavated the soil and undertook other mining operations in the forest.
“These conducts are contrary to section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment Act) Act, 2019 (Act 995),” it stated.
The petitioners said they conducted a search at the Company Registry which confirmed Mr Bernard Bosiako as a director and shareholder and his co-director and co-shareholder was Kwame Antwi.
“Kindly investigate the case and prosecute accordingly. We will cooperate and provide more information when called upon,” the petition said.
It is recalled that the Sector Ministry on September 30, directed mining firm, Akonta Mining Limited to stop operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest with immediate effect following media reports about their activities.
It said even though the firm had a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, the company had no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the forest.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor has commenced an investigation into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of illegal mining with Akonta Mining as one of its subjects.
BY TIMES REPORTER