The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has demanded an independent inquiry into the plethora of allegations in the former Environment Minister, Prof Frimpong Boateng’s report.
This, the group in a release issued on April 27th stated is because Mr Boateng’s report is not a vague collection of incidents but mentions names of institutions and individuals whose actions or inaction the report perceives as complicit in the illegality and harm being perpetuated in the search for gold.
“For instance, the report makes mention of a Cabinet directive to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources which was disregarded and the Forestry Commission’s role in mining activities in forest reserves.
“The report also cites politically exposed persons including Gabby Okyere Darko, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Osafo Marfo, Joseph Albert Quam, former Member of Parliament of Manso Nkwanta Constituency, and a few others for allegedly abusing their position or engaging in influence peddling.”
With the above mentioned, GII notes that “It is almost a cliché to quote the President’s vow to fight small-scale illegal mining; “I pledge to put my presidency on the line if that is what it means to end illegal mining” but it seems inevitable because since this pronouncement, a number of incidents have occurred to test the President’s commitment to ending illegal mining but sad to say, the President’s actions have not kept pace with his rhetoric leading to waning trust in the President’s commitment to the fight against “galamsey” by all well-meaning Ghanaians.”
For this reason, they believe that Prof Boateng’s report offers the President an opportunity to redeem the trust of the people of Ghana.
It added that it “also places a burden on state institutions such as the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to rebuild public confidence which according to the Afrobarometer (round 6), 63 per cent of Ghanaians would rather engage religious leaders in resolving their issues rather than engaging state institutions.”
GII further called on Anti-Corruption State Institutions to;
- Proactively initiate investigations into the allegations contained in the report and make recommendations on the next steps. GII welcomes the directive of the President to the CID of the Ghana Police Service on the matter however, GII holds the view that it should be possible for the various investigative bodies to collaborate on this matter just to assuage the fears of Ghanaians that is, through the power of appointment and disappointment, governments are sometimes able to influence the outcome of investigations concerning members of their government;
- Alternatively, the President could set up an Independent, Bi-partisan Commission of Enquiry to undertake transparent investigations into the issues raised in the report.
Meanwhile, GII says it will also formally petition CHRAJ and the OSP to investigate aspects of the report that are corruption-related.