National Democratic Congress (NDC) member of Parliament for South Dayi constituency, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has petitioned the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate all public officers as well as all others named in a 37-page galamsey report authored by Professor Frimpong-Boateng, the former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng in the report made several allegations against serving and past government officials as being responsible for the inability of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), to fight illegal mining in the country between January 2017 and January 2021.
Mr Dafeamekpor’s petition to CHRAJ filed by his Lawyer, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo of Addo & Addo Legal Attorneys, on his behalf said: “We have our client’s instruction to formally petition your high office in accordance with Article 218(a), (c) and (e) of the 1992 Constitution and section 7(1)(a) and (e) of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Act 1993 (Act 456), to investigate violations of fundamental human rights, alleged corrupt practices, issues of conflict of interest and abuse of public office by certain public officials and other named individuals cited in the Report of the Work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), authored by Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng”.
“We have our client’s further instruction to also petition your office in respect of allegations of corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of office made by Charles Bissue, the former secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, against Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, former chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), in respect of matters involving the 500 Excavators that were supposedly missing around February 2020” the petition read.
The petition further states that the “report of the IMCIM dated 19th March 2021, and confirmed to have been authored by Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, cites various public officials and other individuals” such Mr. Charles Owusu, Joseph Albert Quarm, the former MP for Manso Nkwanta, Laud Commey, Director of Operation at the Office of the President, and two presidential staffers Charles Nii Teiko and Frank Aseidu Bekoe (Protozoa).
To this end, “the IMCIM Report” according to the petitioner, “is replete with grave allegations of corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of office which falls within your mandate per Article 218(a) and (e) of the 1992 Constitution and section 7(1)(a) and (e) of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Act 1993 (Act 456)”.
The petitioner further noted that “subsequent to the publication of the report, Charles Bissue granted an interview on Okay FM, in which he alleged that Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng was himself engaged in illegal small-scale mining popularly known as galamsey whiles he was the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), and had given out the supposed missing 500 excavators to people to work with”.
“Given the seriousness of the above allegations, it is only fair and proper that your good office conducts a full-scale investigation to establish the veracity or otherwise of the allegations. The activities of illegal small-scale miners are destroying our water bodies and degrading our forest reserves at an alarming rate.
“All Ghanaians depend on the environment for sustenance; and therefore, a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a fundamental human right and integral to the full enjoyment of the wide range of other human rights, including the right to life and dignity” the petition read.
“It is the prayer of our client that your office will give this petition the necessary attention it deserves, and investigate these claims to ascertain their truth or otherwise, and take all the appropriate steps to ensure that the persons named herein, if culpable, are dealt with in accordance with law” the petitioner said in conclusion.
Further, in the interest of transparency, openness, probity and accountability, the petitioner demanded “that any hearings and investigations to be conducted into these allegations must be public hearings, open to the general public and the media since the allegations contained in the reports and statements referred to have generated widespread public interest”.