General News of Thursday, 4 October 2018
President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed his displeasure over lenient sentences handed to persons found to be involved in illegal mining.
The president believes such culprits must be severely punished to deter others from engaging in the act.
Speaking at the swearing-in of some 4 new Supreme Court Judges, at Jubilee House in Accra on Wednesday, the president said “It continues to be a source of worry, that persons caught in the act of destroying our environment and polluting our water bodies, the inheritance of our future generations because of the phenomenon of illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey, get away with lenient sentences. As it is at certain places, the discretion must be exercised for the upper end, for the maximum.
The concept of deterrence must be an important art of sentencing policy, especially in areas of great social concern such as the fight against galamsey and vigilantism,” He used the occasion to also admonish the judges to consider the highest form of punishment whenever they are to exercise their discretion in handing sentences to suspects in any of such crimes.
The four Justices who were sworn in are; Justice Samuel Marful-Sau, Justice Agnes Dordzie, Justice Nene A. O. Amegatcher and an academic, Justice Prof Nii AshieKotey. They were appointed in July 2018 to replace some long-serving justices who are retiring.