The Presidency has labelled the allegations levelled at some top government officials in the 36-page document on the fight against illegal mining written by former Minister for Environment, Prof Frimpong Boateng, as hearsay.
In a press statement released by the Office of the Presidency, they noted that even though Prof Boateng who also served as chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) made serious allegations against some government appointees, supporting or interfering with the fight against illegal mining, there has not been any evidence submitted to prove the allegations.
The government indicated that as a result, they are unable to properly investigate claims and allegations highlighted in the document.
“Indeed, the allegations contained in the document are at best hearsay. It is instructive that since Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s meeting with the Chief of Staff in March 2021, he has taken no step nor acted in furtherance of the matters contained in the document,” parts of the statement read.
The government added that the document is also not an official report stating “it can only be rightly referred to as a catalogue of personal grievances and claims made by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, intended to respond to some issues he faced as Chairperson of the IMCIM.”
They indicated that “the document did not have a transmittal or cover letter nor, indeed, an addressee, such as to suggest that it was submitted to the Chief of Staff for action.”
This comes after the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) in a 36-page document had accused top-ranking political actors in the government of thwarting the fight against galamsey and involving themselves in same.
In the said document, the renowned surgeon mentioned some individuals he claims frustrated his effort and the committee he chaired from addressing the canker.
“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.
Among other things, Professor Frimpong also accused a former NPP MP in the Ashanti Region of selling illegally acquired concessions at GH¢200,000 each.
However, some people mentioned in the document including former NPP MP Albert Quarm have denied the allegations.
Also, reacting to the document co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Dr. Steve Manteaw, said that President Akufo-Addo’s inaction concerning Professor Frimpong Boateng’s damning report on galamsey in Ghana demonstrates that government is unserious about the fight against the menace.
However, the government in the press release stated that the document was submitted to the Chief of Staff at an informal meeting where Prof. Frimpong-Boateng complained about public attacks and criticisms made about his tenure as Chairperson of the IMCIM.
They added that he failed to make any formal report to the cabinet which created the IMCIM for further action on the allegations.
“It is noteworthy that the IMCIM was a creature of Cabinet, and any formal report on its activities would, normally, be submitted to Cabinet through the Cabinet Secretary, or directly to the President of the Republic as Chairperson of Cabinet. Till date, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng has done neither.”
“The President’s commitment to fighting illegal mining is unassailable, and the Office of the President welcomes any information on illegal mining activities which provides a credible basis for investigations to be conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service. We continue to count on the co-operation of the general public.”
Source : myjoyonline