Communications team member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Baba Sadiq Abdulai has dragged politically influential journalists’ group, Coffee Shop Mafia over the damning report on illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) authored by former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
Baba Sadiq referenced the relationship between members of the group and the activities of an illegal mining cartel captured in the former minister’s report.
“You remember Erastus Asare Donkor did an investigative documentary where one of the companies he focused on was the same Imperial Mining which Gabby is today claiming that they were doing prospecting. If you see all the videos that came out at the time, nobody will tell you it was pure mining and not prospecting as claimed. Rather interestingly, you will see the linkage. The person involved, Donald Entsuah, the A&C Alaska guy was my colleague at Viasat 1. He was a sales manager working in the media. But his friends are the likes of Gabby, Kwaku Baako and Egbert Faibille…
“So it is a whole cartel that is involved in this thing. The Coffee Shop Mafia is a den of blackmail and extortion,” he stated on Onua TV’s morning show, Onua Maakye.
In his report submitted in 2021 to the chief of staff, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng alleged that a group of journalists came after him with false publications when he was the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Small Scale Mining (IMCIM).
He singled out, senior journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, a member of the Coffee Shop Mafia.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng in his report revealed that Kweku Baako and Gabby Otchere Darko personally accosted him regarding a raid the IMCIM taskforce conducted on an illegal mining operation by C&J Alaska in the Diaso Forest Reserve. The IMCIM task force led by Charles Bissue successfully dislodged armed military personnel stationed at the location to safeguard the illegal mining company.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng claims that Kweku Baako called him later and disclosed that the C&J Alaska managers were his cronies, indicating his personal interest in C&J Alaska.
Kwaku Baako’s newspaper at the height of the IMCIM work, published a series of critical articles on Prof. Frimpong Boateng and the IMCIM for closing down C&J Alaska’s mining operation. Prof. Frimpong Boateng characterized Kwaku Baako as a “ferocious assailant” who wrote unflattering things about him.
“I, in particular, came under severe assault. Mr. Kweku Baako, a journalist who contacted me to inform me that the C&J managers were his friends, was a vicious aggressor. “At the time, Mr. Baako published unsavoury things about me,” he noted in the report.
But speaking on Onua TV, Baba Sadiq maintained that the publications by Kweku Baako’s newspaper were all part of the clandestine activities of the Coffee Shop Mafia aimed at protecting their interests in the illegal mining cartel.
“The whole essence of the Coffee Shop Mafia is blackmail and extortion. Which politician doesn’t know this? Ask every senior politician and they will tell you. Frimpong-Boateng spoke about it when he said some journalists were sabotaging his good work by publishing stories about him and threatening him. Is this not extortion and blackmail? It is pure blackmail and extortion,” he stressed.