Illegal mining report must be investigated to justify authenticity – AG
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame, has stated that the report by the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining must be investigated to justify its authenticity.
He insisted that Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s report were his opinion and must be investigated to justify their authenticity and urged the citizenry not to give much attention to it.
“I realise that even if the report made reference to Heritage Imperial, which you just brought up but significantly, it omitted reference to the judgment that has been set aside and other issues are important,” Mr Dame noted.
According to him, preliminarily, it was not the full perspective of issues that were addressed by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng and was just his view on certain matters.
He indicated that the report was being put through the processes and there were some petitions at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Office of the Special Prosecutor which the processes should be subscribed to.
Responding to questions on whether it was fair to describe Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s report as his view, Mr Dame posited that even the Office of the Attorney General, when matters are taken to court, they were their views on the matter, and the court does not subscribe to them.
For instance, he said illegal mining issues had led to some convictions in the Eastern Region with two persons sentenced to terms of at least 18 years and one of them the conviction was set aside pending appeal, and the convictions relating to one of them was affirmed.
“A report by the Attorney-General does not constitute evidence against any person but the evidence would have to be adduced before the proper forum and a report emanating from a person in my view has to be tested since there is no basis to accord any sanctity to such a report,” Mr Dame pointed out.
On April 20, 2023 Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, the former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, named some top government officials as being complicit in the illegal mining menace and stated that the rot goes as high as the seat of government, the Jubilee House.
The allegations of some 500 missing excavators from illegal miners in 2020 are fabrications of some persons in government to get him out of the way and following the claim, there were calls from cross-section of citizens for state security agencies to look into it.
Subsequently, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo directed the Ghana Police Service to probe the matter.