The discussion surrounding the leaked report on the activities of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), dated March 19, 2021, and written by Professor Frimpong-Boateng, the former chairman of the IMCIM, has been closely monitored by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII).
Numerous claims are made in the study, and GII wants an immediate independent inquiry or investigation to determine whether or not the claims are true.
Fortunately, the study does not just list occurrences without any context; rather, it names specific institutions and people whose acts or inactions it views as contributing to the illegality and harm that the gold-seeking industry perpetuates.
According to the study, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources disobeyed a Cabinet instruction, and the Forestry Commission participated in mining operations in forest reserves.
The report also names several politically exposed individuals for allegedly abusing their positions or engaging in influence peddling, including Mr. Gabby Okyere Darko, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Mr. Osafo Marfo, Hon. Joseph Albert Quam, former Member of Parliament for Manso Nkwanta Constituency, and a few others.
The government has referred to the claims made by Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a former chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illicit Mining (IMCIM), that some government employees are engaged in illicit mining as “a catalogue of grievances and hearsay.”
The report that contained the assertions by the Professor, according to a statement released by the Office of the President in Accra on April 22, had prevented the government from taking action because it was submitted informally and was not officially before Cabinet.
Some of the government representatives included in the paper, however, have denied taking part in illicit mining.
Gabby AsareOtchere-Darko, a prominent member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), asserted that he did nothing improper in looking into the corporation he was representing in court.
He claimed that his intervention came about because he thought his clients were getting upset.
He claimed that none of his acts interfered with the IMCIM’s operations.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the minister of information, also refuted claims that he masterminded a conspiracy to assassinate Prof. Frimpong-Boateng over the fight against illegal mining.
It is almost a cliché to quote the President’s vow to fight small-scale illegal mining; “I pledge to put my presidency on the line if that is what it means to end illegal mining” but it seems inevitable because since this pronouncement, a number of incidents have occurred to test the President’s commitment to ending illegal mining but sad to say, the President’s actions have not kept pace with his rhetoric leading to waning trust in the President’s commitment to the fight against “galamsey” by all well-meaning Ghanaians.
Therefore, the Professor Frimpong Boateng report not only gives the President a chance to earn back the trust of the Ghanaian people, but also puts pressure on government agencies like the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to do so. According to the Afrobarometer (round 6) survey, 63% of Ghanaians would prefer to work with religious leaders to resolve their problems.
It is based on this background that GII is calling on the Anti-Corruption State Institutions to;
i. proactively initiate investigations into the allegations contained in the report and make recommendations on the next steps. GII welcomes the directive of the President to the CID of the Ghana Police Service on the matter however, GII holds the view that it should be possible for the various investigative bodies to collaborate on this matter just to assuage the fears of Ghanaians that is, through the power of appointment and disappointment, governments are sometimes able to influence the outcome of investigations concerning members of their government;
Read the full statement from GII below:
Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Louis Gyamerah