Court throws out Akua Donkor’s application
The Human Rights Court in Kumasi has thrown out an application by the founder of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Madam Akua Donkor, seeking an order to restrain AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Obuasi Mine from preventing illegal gold miners (galamsey operators) from mining on the company’s concession.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Paul Richardson, described the application as lacking grounds and awarded cost of GH¢2,000 against the applicant for wasting the time of the court.
Madam Donkor took the Ghana Stock Exchange-listed mining company to court on the grounds that the company was mining for its parochial interest.
She argued that AngloGold Ashanti was brutalising the people of Obuasi, resulting in deaths and injury to a number of people.
She further stated that the flushing out of illegal miners on AngloGold Ashanti (AGA)â€ˆconcessions was an illegality and therefore wanted the government to allow the locals to do mining, because after all, the land belonged to Ghanaians not foreigners.
Madam Donkor who represented herself in court, argued that AGA had since the beginning of its operation in Obuasi done nothing to improve the lives of the local people.
This was in spite of the large amounts of profits the company had made from mining on the land that had been provided by God.
She stated that roads, water projects and other amenities were lacking in the communities, bringing untold hardships to the people.
She also stated that unemployment was high in the area, a situation that had compelled the local people to do small-scale mining to make a living.
Madam Donkor argued that the mineral deposits in the area were a gift from God and that no company should take absolute control over them.
She further stated that as a result of the brutalities meted on the galamsey operators by AGA security personnel a number of them had lost their lives.
She, therefore, prayed the court to stop AGA from further disturbing the galamsey operators from doing their work.
In his ruling last Wednesday, Mr Justice Richardson said galamsey was an illegality and must, therefore, not be entertained.
He stated that mining in Ghana was regulated by laws and that no one could take the laws into their hands to mine anyhow.
Meanwhile, Madam Donkor has expressed surprise at the court’s ruling and said she would take the next line of action.
She told the Daily Graphic that much as she respected the ruling, she still believed that galamsey should not be declared an illegal activity in Ghana.
By Kwame Asare Donkor/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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