Private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu has described as “hogwash” a response from the Presidency on the report compiled by the Chairman of the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng had on Friday, March 19, 2021 written to the Chief of Staff following a meeting to report on the activities of his Committee, which was set up in 2017.
Serving as Chairman of the Committee as a result of his position as the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof Frimpong-Boateng issued the report but cited several officials in government, some at the Presidency, for the serious degradation of the country’s forest reserves, and, indeed, the environment through illegal mining.
Among the officials cited in the report are Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, former Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Mafo, New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawyer Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, former New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker Joseph Albert Quarm and Kwadwo Osei Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, who died on July 1, 2020 as the Forestry Commission Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Presidential staffers Lord Commey and Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe were also cited in the report.
Most of these officials have denied the allegations.
The Presidency on Saturday, April 22 said “the document [of Prof Frimpong-Boateng] 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”.
Jubilee House added that “the allegations contained in the document are at best hearsay”.
But speaking on The Keypoints on TV3/3FM on Saturday, April 29, Mr Kpebu said answers must be provided to the allegations raised in the IMCIM report.
“That response from the Presidency is hogwash,” he stressed.
He recalled how President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo vowed to use the ‘Anas Principle’ to weed out corruption in his government.
However, the lawyer pointed out that now that evidence is clear given the content of Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s report, the President is picking and choosing.
“We are doomed. It is called aprobate and reprobate.”
Mr Kpebu said President Akufo-Addo has to resign because he has let Ghanaians down.