Former Environment Minister, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has been in the news following a 36-page statement he released on illegal small-scale mining in Ghana.
The former Minister, while submitting a report on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), not only cited the challenges the committee faced but also persons he believes contributed to the frustration of his work.
The report, which was addressed to the Chief of Staff and the Ghana Police, implicated some New Patriotic Party (NPP) members, including MPs and top government officials, as having been involved in the galamsey menace.
Portions of the report indicated that these MPs and government officials were either directly involved in galamsey or were using their power to protect relations who were involved in the menace.
The 36-page report implicated persons including the former MP for Manso Nkwanta, Joseph Albert Quarm; director of operations at the presidency, Laud Commey; executive assistant and head of social media at the presidency, Charles Nii Teiko; and Frank Asiedu Bekoe, director of political affairs at the Office of the Chief of Staff.
Prof Frimpong Boateng also accused the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, of hatching a plot to bring him down over his (Frimpong Boateng’s) fight against the menace.
Below is a full list of persons named in Prof. Frimpong’s report on galamsey and how he details their involvement:
Kwadwo Owus Afriyie a.k.a Sir John (late):
In parts of his report, Prof. Frimpong noted that the late Sir John was actively giving out timber concessions even in forest reserves for logging.
He also was cited to have given forestry entry permits to mining companies both large and small scale including those of foreign nationals for prospecting activities at a time when the president had put a ban on that activity.
Leading member of the NPP, Gabby Otchere-Darko was cited in the report as having called him (Prof. Frimpong-Manso) to inform him that he was a lawyer for Heritage Imperial Ltd., a company that was destroying the Krobo and Apaprama Forest Reserves and polluting River Offin.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah:
Prof Frimpong Boateng in the report said that Oppong Nkrumah hatched a plot to bring him down over his (Frimpong Boateng’s) fight against the menace.
According to Mr Frimpong Boateng, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah gathered and incited a team of journalists to attack him and sabotage his work.
According to Prof. Frimpong Boateng, the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo connived with some persons to accuse him of selling excavators and putting the proceeds in another person’s account. He noted that the Senior Minister covered up for John Ofori-Atta, then National Security Coordinator for the Central Region and Ekow Ewusi.
Charles Owusu who was then Director of Operations at the Forestry Commission under Sir John was accused of conniving to use Chinese gangs to do mining on behalf of Sir John. He is also said to have called Prof. Frimpong Boateng during an operation at Bepotenten to claim some of the concessions and excavators.
Joseph Albert Quarm:
Joseph Albert Quarm who is a former Member of Parliament for Manso Nkwanta was cited in the report as having used his position as a member of the board of the Minerals Commission to acquire several dozens of large-scale concessions in his district for community mining purporses. He is said to have sold these to private individuals for 200,000 Ghana cedis per a concession.
Laud Commey, Charles Nii Teiko:
Laud Commey and Charles Nii Teiko, both Jubilee House appointees are said to have supported illegal mining or interfered with the fight against the menace.
S.K Boafo, Chairman of the Minerals Commission Board was accused by Prof. Frimpong of supporting the position of the Lands Ministry after the appointment of Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, against a community mining programme.
According to him, the ministry was angry that the IMCIM was at the forefront in matters concerning small-scale mining which they said were among the functions of the Minerals Commission.
Prof. Frimpong also noted in his report that S.K. Boafo even blocked the MCE of Asante Akim Central from allowing the IMCIM to commission community mining sites in the area, threatening that she would lose her job if she did.
Frank Asiedu Bekoe (Protozoa):
Frank Bekoe who is said to be working at the Office of the Chief of Staff allegedly was one of other ‘big men’ who called Prof. Frimpong Boateng in January 2021, after a task force entered a concession at Bepotenten for an operation to seize excavators and destroy galamsey sites.
According to Prof. Frimpong Boateng, Mr. Bekoe called the task force and asked for the release of the excavators at the blind side of the Chief of Staff.
Prof. Frimpong in his report said that renowned journalist Kweku Baako called him to express displeasure about his operation at a mining concession owned by his (Kweku Baako)’s friends Donald Entsuah and Simon Ayman, a Canadian National under their company – C&J Aleska.
He added that Mr. Baako’s New Crusading Guide Newspaper later reported false articles about him with ‘a lot of lies and misrepresentations’.
Read Prof. Frimpong Boateng’s full report to President Akufo-Addo below: