The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) says the Ghana Police Service has launched an investigation into the activities of Akonta Mining Limited.
In a press release on Friday, the coalition indicated that the investigation by the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) follows their earlier petitions and evidence sent to the IGP calling for the prosecution of the Director(s) of Akonta Mining Limited.
The MCAG stated that although the investigation is appreciated, the pace of the exercise is slow.
“The delegation from the MCAG was appreciative of the work being carried out by the CID. We however expressed our frustration at the seeming lack of action in the prosecution of the director(s) of Akonta Mining Ltd, in the face of clear evidence (including what we added to our petition and statement to the Police) of they having breached the Minerals & Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).”
The Coalition stressed that “the needed urgency must be applied for the speedy prosecution of the director(s) of Akonta Mining Ltd, since there was ample evidence available for their prosecution.”
MCAG revealed that the update was given to them during a meeting with the IGP and CID.
In October 2022, Akonta Mining, belonging to New Patriotic Party’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, was stopped from mining in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve by the Lands Ministry.
According to the Ministry, even though Akonta Mining Limited had a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, the company had no right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.
In January 2023, the Special Prosecutor in a press release indicated that he had launched an investigation into illegal mining activities by some persons and institutions including Akonta Mining.
The MCAG also petitioned the IGP to launch another investigation after President Akufo-Addo, speaking at the 8th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association on Wednesday, said the mining firm “is not engaged in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak.”
“It is instructive to hear the President defend that Akonta Mining Limited is not involved in any illegality as we speak. If you look at the petition that we sent to the IGP and Attorney General and we copied to the President and for which we sent a reminder, we were talking about the incident that JoyNews’ Erastus Asare Donkor has reported,” Convener Dr Ken Ashigbey said at the time.
He noted that this is also in addition to “the press release issued by the Lands Minister in September and the statement issued by the Minerals Commission in collaboration with the Minister…so we were referring to illegality that had happened in 2022.”
Meanwhile, the coalition said that despite the slow pace of the investigations they are ready to assist the CID with its work since this is a fight for the overall good of the country.
The MCAG added that they are resolute in their conviction that there is and can be no conceivable justification for illegal mining to continue in Ghana.
“The Media Coalition Against Galamsey continues to call on all well-meaning Ghanaians, Civil Society Organizations to join hands with the media to help mount continued pressure on our leaders, Political, Technocrats, Traditional and Business to help save Ghana’s water bodies and preserve our environment for current and future generations.”
Read the full statement below: