Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu has described Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame’s opinion on former Environment Minister, Dr Kwabena Frimpong Boateng’s report on illegal mining as a whitewash and incomplete.
According to Kpebu, the AG’s opinion should not be accepted. He thinks the AG must reverse his opinion on the matter.
The AG has concluded that Prof Frimpong Boateng’s allegations in his report on illegal mining activities in the country are empty and do not have evidence to prosecute the persons named to have committed mining and other offences.
The Attorney-General has therefore asked the police to discharge persons mentioned in the report except those still under investigation.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday, October 10, Mr Kpebu explained that the Attorney General’s report does not talk about investigations in the forest, therefore they ought to move to the grounds to ascertain the facts.
He said that Dr Frimpong Boateng has no case of evidence to submit since he has already given enough pointers, adding that authorities can investigate the issue of ‘galamsey’ with the information provided so far and that Dr Frimpong Boateng is not needed to further prove anything.
“Dr Frimpong Boateng’s report itself makes it clear that Gabby Otchere-Darko called Frimpong Boateng and told him that C and J Aleska were lawfully in the forest. So from these facts, it’s clear that C and J Aleska were in the Apraprama Forest where they polluted River Offin and destroyed the forest. But he (Otchere-Darko) maintained that they had the right papers. Frimpong Boateng said they don’t.
“I don’t see any part of the report that dealt with this question. Did they go to the forest to find out what destruction took place? Did they go to the Mineral’s Commission to find out if C and J Aleska had the right papers? Did they go to the Forestry Commission? You don’t need Frimpong Boateng to come to give you any further details. No!,” he stressed.
According to him, “the moment they didn’t ask Mineral’s Commission for confirmation whether C and J Aleska – Gabby’s client, had the right to be in the forest, etc., then I knew that the AG’s opinion was just whitewashing the situation. This opinion is incomplete and we have to throw it out.”
He further questioned the authority’s time frame used to investigate Dr Frimpong Boateng’s report.
In this regard, he urged citizens with evidence of ‘galamsey’ to lodge formal complaints with the police, which he says may may force the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to reopen the case.
He also suggested that the public may also protest the AG’s opinion since it is incomplete.
Prof Frimpong Boateng in his report to the president mentioned some individuals he claims frustrated his effort and the committee he chaired from addressing the ‘galamsey’ canker.
“Throughout our struggle with illegalities in the small-scale mining sector, what baffled me was the total disregard of the President’s commitment to protecting the environment.
“I can state without any equivocation that many party officials from the national to the unit committee level had their friends, PAs, agents, relatives, financiers, or relatives engaged in illegal mining. Most of them engaged Chinese working for them.
“I am not referring to party people who had their legitimate concession and were mining sustainably as they were instructed to do.
“There are appointees in the Jubilee House that are doing or supporting illegal mining or interfering with the fight against the menace,” excerpts of the document said.
Professor Frimpong also accused a former NPP MP in the Ashanti Region of selling illegally acquired concessions at GH¢200,000 each.
According to him, this “infuriated the party in the constituency so during the 2020 primaries to select a candidate, the electorate voted against NPP MP, the then sitting MP, who was more resourced than other candidates.
However, some of the persons mentioned in the report, including the said former NPP MP, denied same.
The celebrated heart surgeon and founder of the National Cardiothoracic Centre was subsequent to his report finding its way into the public, interrogated by the police and a report was sent to the Attorney General for advice.