CHRAJ assesses MP’s illegal mining petition before probe commences

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has commence assessing the complaint filed by Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi in the Volta Region, for an investigation into the illegal mining report authored by Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Chairman of the now-defunct Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).

He has accused government officials of colluding in the fight against illegal mining, despite the report had been dismissed by the Presidency but Mr Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, the MP has asked the Commission to investigate the issue.

Other stakeholders are also calling for an independent probe into the allegations.

Joseph Whittal, Commissioner of CHRAJ, explained that various procedures would be initiated before a full-scale inquiry begins because the procedures of CHRAJ required it make an assessment of the complaints.

He pointed out that procedures of the Commission required they made an assessment of the complaints and it was not every complaint that was filed that actually met standards expected of complaint that could be admitted for investigation.

“We will do the assessment, determine which of the mandates, if any, has been evoked by the petition, after which if there are any further and better particulars in terms of clarification of documents, we will ask for that from the lawyers of the complainant,” Mr Whittal indicated.

Mr Dafeamekpor called for public hearing as CHRAJ launched probe into unlawful mining activities in the country.

In a 37-page document, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, accused important political actors in the government for contributing to poisoning of significant water bodies.

Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, lawyer for the MP, after presenting the petition, said he believed the committee would conduct thorough investigation and cautioned that the nation would be importing water in future.

He noted that just as the public had shown interest in the filing of the petition, they should follow up processes and ask questions about how far the investigations had got to and not seem like the issues were solely for the petitioner.

According to him, the petitioner would be issuing letters to check up on the issues every week to find out what was happening saying “I have been given utmost assurance the issues would be taken seriously, so l leave the rest to the commission.

“We will give them the benefit of the doubt to do an excellent job since they have done that in the past and CHRAJ stood up to issues of corruption and public interests which is existential matter and must be thoroughly investigated,” Nii Addo intimated.

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