The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Professional Forum (PROFORUM) is calling for the release of individuals arrested and jailed for their involveme
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Professional Forum (PROFORUM) is calling for the release of individuals arrested and jailed for their involvement in illegal mining (galamsey).
This call follows comments passed by Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo as a justification to government’s decision to truncate the prosecution of a notorious Chinese national who was arrested for engaging in illegal mining despite several warnings.
Aisha Huang popularly known as Galamsey Queen was arraigned before court on May 9, 2017, for engaging in galamsey activities at Bepotenten in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region but Attorney General’s office in December 2018 withdrew the case against her and four other Chinese nationals.
They were subsequently deported to China.
The discontinuation of the case was met with opposition, particularly from the Media Coalition who have petitioned the Attorney General over the decision.
The Senior Minister while addressing a townhall meeting abroad stated that the prosecution of Aisha Huang was discontinued because jailing her would not solve Ghana’s economic challenges.
“Today, the main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us,” the Minister said, adding that “…When there are these kinds of arrangements, there are other things behind the scenes. Putting that lady [Aisha] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your economic problems.”
The Senior Minister has been widely condemned over his comment and there have been calls for his removal from office.
Wading into the matter, members of the PROFORUM want others who are in prison over the same crime to be freed for the same reason that their stay in jail would not add to the country’s economic prospects.
The PROFORUM in a statement slammed the Akufo-Addo government for “corrupting” the judicial system by influencing how cases are handled by the courts.
“The so-called Senior Minister in a failed Town Hall Meeting in the United States of America, explained that the government decided not to prosecute this Chinese because the NPP government was securing financial assistance from the Chinese government and to him, prosecuting her, will jeopardise the granting of such financial assistance from China,” they stated
“This appears to be a high level top secret which unconsciously dropped off the jaws of the Senior Minister in his attempt to defend the indefensible.Is it not dangerous to keep him in office or send him on errands to the diaspora? Like all Ghanaians, we of the NDC PROFESSIONALS FORUM are scandalized by this double standard and high level hypocrisy of the NPP government in the fight against galamsey.”
“We are appalled by the NPP government beliefs that the loans are more important than the freedom and economic prosperity of the youth of Ghana, and the future of Ghanaian youth is less important than the illegal exploitation of our natural resources,” the statement signed PROFORUM President, Sam Pee Yalley reads.
The group is also demanding the prosecution of former Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Cromwell Bissue for breaching his office as captured by award winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas in the latest undercover piece, ‘Galamsey Fraud’.
Read the full statement below
PROFORUM PRESS STATEMENT
FREE ALL GHANAIAN SMALL SCALE MINERS FROM PRISON NOW – AS AISHA HUANG IS LEFT OFF THE HOOK
The attention of the NDC PROFESSIONAL FORUM (PROFORUM) has been drawn to a very unpatriotic and racist comments purported to have been made by Hon. Osafo Marfo, the unconstitutional Senior Minister in connection with the NPP Government’s decision not to prosecute a Chinese woman Aisha Huang arrested in connection with her role of importing hundreds of illegal Chinese miners, and sophisticated China made earth moving equipments used for illegal mining in our forest reserves.
She enjoyed police and military escorts in her line of duty because she was connected to power brokers in high places in government.
As such, prosecuting the Chinese woman would have been an exercise in futility.
It may be recalled that the NPP in opposition used galamsey news items extensively to win power in the 2016 elections.
The NPP threatened that when they came to power, their government will arrest and jail all Ghanaian small scale miners and protect the big time Chinese galamseyers.
The NDC government at the time made strenuous efforts to curb the illegal mining activities to save our rivers, streams and forest reserves but to no avail.
The NPP Presidential candidate at the time Nana Akufo- Addo openly came out to support galamseyers assuring them by saying that
“it is being alleged that, I who has promised to create employment for the youth will rather collapse galamsey.
That is not true. I will rather create more employment opportunities for the youth in the galamsey business”
To the amazement of galamseyers, in a hypothetical three hundred and sixty degrees turn around, Nana Akufo – Addo, set up a national task force to fight the galamseyers when NPP won the 2016 elections.
This attempt to fight the galamsey menace was widely accepted by all Ghanaians because of the destruction to forests and river bodies.
However, not too long after that, some notorious residents in a community called Denkyira Obuase in the Central Region, cold bloodedly murdered Captain Mahama, a fine gentleman in the Ghana army.
Much to the shock of all Ghanaians, Nana Akufo-Addo refused to condemn this barbaric murder of a serving officer of the Ghana Armed Forces, neither was he present at his state funeral.
As if that insult was not enough, the President visited Denkyira Obuase then a ghost town, and surprisingly rewarded the villagers with scholarship schemes.
The fight against galamsey appears to be a facade and the Inter – Ministerial Committee appeared to have created a hijacked playing field for corruption by NPP bigwigs.
For example the driver of the NPP General Secretary John Boadu was recorded to be actively involved in the corrupt practices with the illegal mining taskforce al be it with high level collaboration.
He was caught on camera attempting to bribe officials of the Task Force, but that is how far the matter went.
And they even came out to deny it with all the evidence available. So no prosecution and no jail sentence.
In another shocking exposure, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force, one Mr. Charles Bissue was caught red handed accepting bribe to corrupt the procedures for acquiring official approval for gold mining.
Mr. Bissue is still at post and in spite of his suspected criminal conduct, he is still a Presidential staffer and well paid with the tax payers’ money.
It should not be lost on any Ghanaian that the First Deputy Speaker of parliament Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu found the galamsey menace so repugnant (we hope he was sincere) and ordered that any body seen engaging in galamsey should be shot and killed on sight.
Most Ghanaians were relieved when the Chinese woman was arrested by the Task Force and arraigned before the court of competent jurisdiction.
However, strangely enough and for inexplicable reasons, the government decided that unlike other Ghanaians who had been tried and serving jail sentences, the government decided to terminate the prosecution and merely deported this infamous Chinese galamsey queen.
The so-called Senior Minister in a failed Town Hall Meeting in the United States of America, explained that the government decided not to prosecute this Chinese because the NPP government was securing financial assistance from the Chinese government and to him, prosecuting her, will jeopardise the granting of such financial assistance from China.
This appears to be a high level top secret which unconsciously dropped off the jaws of the Senior Minister in his attempt to defend the indefensible.
Is it not dangerous to keep him in office or send him on errands to the diaspora?
Like all Ghanaians, we of the NDC PROFESSIONALS FORUM are scandalized by this double standard and high level hypocrisy of the NPP government in the fight against galamsey.
We are appalled by the NPP government beliefs that the loans are more important than the freedom and economic prosperity of the youth of Ghana, and the future of Ghanaian youth is less important than the illegal exploitation of our natural resources.
We are very much disgusted by the activities of the NPP government interfering and corrupting the judicial system of our country.
In view of these, we are calling on the President to immediately terminate the illegitimate appointment of Mr. Osafo Marfo and in addition abolish his office which has no constitutional basis, for his reckless utterances.
We also call on the President to immediately dismiss and prosecute Mr. Charles Bissue and other members associated with the
Inter-Ministerial Task Force who were seen extorting bribes from potential miners or alternatively order the immediate release of Ghanaians who have been jailed or standing trial for engaging in galamsey activities.
We hereby remind the President of the Presidential Oath which enjoins him to dedicate himself to the service and well being of all Ghanaians and not the Chinese engaged in illegal exploitation of our natural resources.
Amb. Sam Pee Yalley
By: Kekeli Kuatsenu/awakenewsonline.com