Lawyer for Okyehene, Osagyefo Amotia Ofori Panyin, has criticised an intercepted National Security report that says the paramount chief’s palace is perceived to be turning a blind eye to illegal mining and engaged in activities that promotes the practice.
Kwame Boateng says contrary to claims by the government agency against the paramount chief, Osagyefo Amotia Ofori Panyin has been a torch bearer demanding an end to the practice popularly referred to as galamsey.
“If we are dealing with perception and not an intelligence report, then we should have been a bit careful in putting out names out there, especially that the report is just speculative,” he said.
The intercepted report said in part that, “the Okyehene’s palace is perceived to be behind illegal mining activities in the Kibi area. It is further alleged that the Okyehene has constituted a task force, as part of its environmental foundation, who allegedly extort monies from illegal miners in the area.”
However, Kwame Boateng said Saturday on Joy FM/Multi TV’s news analysis programme Newsfile that the report is not accurate.
“We all know the effort that the Okyehene has put in to fight this social and economic and whatever canker of galamsey…he actually started this whole fight against galamsey,” he adds.
He said although there is a deliberate effort to mud-sling the renowned chief in the destructive mining phenomenon, it will not wash.
“It will be extremely preposterous for a person of his calibre who has used every energy in his fibre to fight this canker just to go around it and undermine the forces that will fight this canker,” he said.
Some chiefs and political figures in the country have been cited in a report by the Bureau of National Investigations for involvement in illegal mining.
The 31-page report details districts in eight out of the 10 Regions of Ghana where galamsey is taking place.
The BNI report intercepted by Joy News revealed the growing prevalence of illegal mining with its accompanying destruction of water bodies has been a source of worry for the citizens.
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Talensi in the Upper East Region, Benson Tongo Baba (B. T. Baba) are among those cited in the report, however, Mr Baba has since denied any involvement in the illegal mining menace.