The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG), has expressed worry over the failure of authorities to prosecute the directors of Akonta Mining for allegedly engaging in illegal small-scale mining (Galamsey).
The Coalition indicated that in line with the discharge of their constitutional mandate of holding leadership to account to the people and ensuring that all who have broken the laws of Ghana are prosecuted and appropriately punished, together with other Petitioners, met with senior officials of the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) at the behest of the Director General of the CID.
This was in furtherance to their earlier petitions sent to the Inspector General of Police to prosecute the Director of Akonta Mining Limited.
The Coalition said they were made to know during the meeting that investigations were ongoing into the activities of Akonta Mining Limited.
“The delegation from the MCAG was appreciative of the work being carried out by the CID.
“We, however, expressed our frustration at the seeming lack of action in the prosecution of the director(s) of Akonta Mining Ltd, in the face of clear evidence (including what we added to our petition and statement to the Police) of they having breached the Minerals & Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and prayed that the needed urgency be applied for the speedy prosecution of the director(s) of Akonta Mining Ltd since there was ample evidence available for their prosecution. The delegation also assured the CID of assisting in any way necessary to facilitate the work of the CID since this is a fight for the overall good of our dear nation Ghana.
“The MCAG remains resolute in our conviction that there is and can be no conceivable justification for illegal mining to continue in Ghana. The Media Coalition Against Galamsey continues to call on all well-meaning Ghanaians, Civil Society Organizations to join hands with the media to help mount continued pressure on our leaders, Political, Technocrats, Traditional and Business to help save Ghana’s water bodies and preserve our environment for current and future generations.
“Losing this war is definitely not an option. Irresponsible and unsustainable mining is an existential threat and should not be countenanced,” a statement issued by the Coalition on Friday, June 7 said.
It is however unclear whether the directors will be prosecuted after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo exonerated the company from any wrongdoing.
The President stressed that the Company is not involved in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana.
“Let me respond briefly to the chairperson on the issue of illegal mining,” President Akufo-Addo remarked after concerns about the menace came to the fore at the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association held in Koforidua.
“I want to assure him and all of you that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak.
“Further, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has through the agency of the Forestry Commission with the assistance of the military made the effort to cordon off all 294 sites of forest reserves in the country and rid them of illegal mining as we speak.”
President Akufo-Addo was responding to a concern expressed by the chairperson of the occasion, Ing. Ken Ashigbey, regarding Akonta Mining Company Limited’s supposed infraction of the laws to mine in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Western North Region.
Despite having a mining lease, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in October 2022 stopped Akonta Mining Company Limited, owned by New Patriotic Party’s Ashanti Region Chairman Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, from mining in the forest reserve.
The issue is under investigation by the Special Prosecutor.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his government’s commitment to “win the fight against galamsey no matter the cost in effort”.