Witness in the case in which En Huang, aka Aisha Haung, is being tried for alleged illegal mining activities and other crimes has told the Accra High Court how Huang was able to take over his farmland and those of three others without paying them for the lands and crops on them.
Led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Yvonne Atakoroa Obuobisa, Timothy Teye Ali, a farmer, admitted knowing Aisha “very well” at “Sukuumu” (School) at Bepotenten in the Ashanti Region.
The fifth prosecution witness told the court that in the year 2017, one James Ogbey of Sukuumu approached him with the request that a Chinese lady by name Aisha (En Huang) wanted to buy a four-acre farmland he (Ali) had inherited from his grandfather 40 years ago.
According to Ali, Ogbey explained that Huang wanted to mine gold on the land he had cultivated cocoa and oil palm on, which was close to the Offin River.
The witness said “I was not the only one James Ogbey contacted; three family members whose farms share boundaries with mine were also contacted to sell their farms to Aisha Huang,” he said.
The witness mentioned the three family members as Moses Teye Ali, Peter Amenya and Kwadwo Atia.
“We all agreed and met Mr James Ogbey on the farms to take measurements of each person’s land and (count) the crops on them.
“My land, which contained cocoa and palm trees was assessed and an amount of GH¢28,000 was agreed upon for the accused person to pay,” he said.
The witness said just as they had completed the assessment, Aisha arrived so they went to see her at her mining site, which was near their farms, adding that “Aisha gave each of us GH¢1,000 through James Ogbey and she promised to pay the rest.”
“I told James Ogbey to tell Aisha Huang not to start work on our farmlands until the full payment had been made.
“Strangely and contrary to our agreement, I heard the following morning that my farmland had been cleared,” the witness said.
Ali told the court that he rushed to his farm and to his surprise, “every crop on my four-acre land had been cleared with an excavator.”
Ali also accused Huang of destroying four rivers in the
Ashanti Region through her illegal mining activities, mentioning them as Offin, Nkyingo, Afraso and Kobri.
The hearing continues tomorrow for conclusion of cross-examination.
Huang is standing trial, among other charges, for engaging in illegal mining at Bepotenten in the year 2017 and re-entering Ghana illegally.
She has pleaded not guilty and the court has remanded her in lawful custody. —GNA