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Time to Turn the Rhetoric into Action: GII calls on President, Anti-Corruption State Institutions to swiftly act on Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s Report

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The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has followed with keen interest the discourse on the leaked report on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) dated 19th March 2021 and authored by Professor Frimpong-Boateng, former Chairman of the IMCIM. The report makes a plethora of allegations that GII demands an urgent independent inquiry/investigation into the veracity or otherwise of the allegations.

Fortunately, the report is not a vague collection of incidents but mentions names of institutions and individuals whose actions or inactions 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 Mr. Gabby Okyere Darko, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Mr. Osafo Marfo, Hon. 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.

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.

The Professor Frimpong Boateng report, therefore, does not only offer the President an opportunity to redeem the trust of the people of Ghana but 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 percent of Ghanaians would rather engage religious leaders in resolving their issues rather than engaging state institutions.

It is based on this background that GII is calling on the Anti-Corruption State Institutions to;
i. 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;

ii. alternatively, the President could set up an Independent, Bi-partisan Commission of Enquiry to undertake transparent investigations into the issues raised in the report.
GII also intends to formally petition CHRAJ and the OSP to investigate aspects of the report that are corruption-related.

For any press enquiries, please contact
Ghana Integrity Initiative
+233 0302 760 884; +233 0501 695 949 info@tighana.org

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