• OccupyGhana has accused President Akufo-Addo of not respecting the law
• The pressure group indicated that it is inappropriate to burn excavators used in galamsey
• President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday justified the destruction of excavators from individuals and companies found mining in water bodies
OccupyGhana has criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for disregarding the law and allowing the military involved in Operation Halt to burn confiscated excavators from individuals and companies found mining illegally.
Kweku Segbefia, one of the leaders of the pressure group told Joy FM on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in an interview monitored by GhanaWeb that, such activity is inappropriate because there are laws set out in the constitution that prescribe sanctions and punishments for persons engaged illegal mining, hence setting ablaze machinery is in breach of the Mining and Mineral Act.
He said, “If the president is daring people to go to court if they feel the burning of excavators is not in line with the law then essential, he is trying to tell us that he has no respect with the law.”
Segbefia added, “The law states clearly that if you arrest a person that is using any of these materials, you grab the person and take him to court. You hand over what machinery the person using to the police after the person is convicted, then the court will hand over the equipment to a minister who then assigns the equipment to any ministerial agencies of his choice, that is what the law says.”
He further accused the government of failing to enforce the laws governing mining activities and rather, fighting the galamsey menace with illegality.
He noted, the government lacked the temerity to prosecute perpetrators responsible for the degradation of the country’s lands and water bodies through galamsey.
Kweku Segbefia said, “Every aspect of galamsey is covered by law so much so that if all government had done is to apply the law, not a single of our river bodies would have turned brown.”
“How did we get here, we got here because the government waged an epileptic fight against galamsey and they lost that fight when they let Aisha Huang go scotfree, in fact when they first arrested her, they were afraid to charge her with a proper law and charge her with the law that she was going to pay GH¢3,600.00.
When there were laws that will have derived GH¢3.6 million from her and when we appeal and wrote to the Attorney to amend the charge then they took her out of the country because they could not bring themselves to try her by the law. That is how we lost the fight against the galamsey,” he stressed.
President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, noted that the state agencies are justified in destroying confiscated excavators from individuals and companies found mining in water bodies and forest reserves despite its ban.
“I know there are some who believe that the ongoing exercise of ridding our water bodies and forest zones of harmful equipment and machinery is unlawful and, in some cases, harsh.
“I strongly disagree, and I would advise those who take a contrary view to go to court to vindicate their position if they so wish. That is what the rule of law is all about,” he stated.