The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has called for an independent inquiry into the allegations contained in a report authored by the former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng. The GII is also urging President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and anti-corruption state institutions to take swift action on the report.
In a statement released on April 27, 2023, the GII emphasized that the report is not a vague collection of incidents but clearly identifies institutions and individuals whose actions or inactions the report perceives as complicit in the illegality and harm being perpetuated in the search for gold.
The report mentions a Cabinet directive to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources that was disregarded, as well as the Forestry Commission’s role in mining activities in forest reserves. It also cites politically exposed persons, including Gabby Otchere Darko, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Osafo Maafo, Joseph Albert Quam, and a few others for allegedly abusing their positions or engaging in influence peddling.
The GII believes that Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s report offers the President an opportunity to redeem the trust of the people of Ghana, and that state institutions such as the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) should proactively initiate investigations into the allegations contained in the report and make recommendations on the next steps.
The GII further called on anti-corruption state institutions to collaborate on this matter, just to assuage the fears of Ghanaians that the outcome of investigations concerning members of their government may be influenced by the power of appointment and disappointment. Alternatively, the President could set up an independent, bi-partisan Commission of Enquiry to undertake transparent investigations into the issues raised in the report.
For the most part, the GII applauds the President’s directive to the CID of the Ghana Police Service on the matter, but stresses the need for swift action on the report’s recommendations. The GII also noted that 63% of Ghanaians would rather engage religious leaders in resolving their issues rather than engaging state institutions, according to the Afrobarometer (round 6).
In conclusion, the GII’s statement highlights the need for accountability and transparency in the fight against illegal mining, and urges all stakeholders to take the necessary steps to address the issues raised in the report.