• Godfred Dame has defended the decision by government to burn excavators at galamsey sites
• He says government has committed no illegality with the decision
• Inusah Fuseini however believes it is a show of incompetence and lack of confidence in state institution
Inusah Fuseini, the former Member of Parliament for Tamale Central has suggested the justification given by Attorney General and Minister Godfred Dame with regards to the burning of excavators found at illegal mining sites reflects badly on the minister and personnel involved in the anti-galamsey fight.
Inusah Fuseini posits that Dame’s ‘disingenuous’ comment is a manifestation of the incompetence that permeates every aspect of the Akufo-Addo government.
Speaking on Citi FM, Inusah Fuseini insisted that government is committing an illegality with the decision to burn the excavators.
“I find the explanation of Godfred Dama quite disingenuous. I think that either Nana Akufo-Addo’s Ministers are clearly incompetent, complacent, or not simply up to the task because if you think that the law that is presently in existence is incapable of dealing with the menace, you do not act with impunity.”
“Nations develop at the back of the rule of law and so if you think the law is not adequate, what you do is to sponsor an amendment, but you do not take the law into your own hands and use common law maxim to justify your actions,” Mr. Fuseini said.
Inusah Fuseini further bemoaned the lack of clarity on the part of the military officers who have been sanctioned to undertake the operation.
He said that it is important for government to distinguish the various mining categories so that companies or persons undertaking legitimate mining activities do not suffer.
“On the mining field, you have not educated the soldiers enough on persons who have the licence to mine and persons who do not have the licence to mine. If a person has a licence to mine and is mining in a way that contravenes the permit, there is a procedure. There is a punishment regime prescribed by the law. You cannot treat that person as if he is a person who has no licence to mine.”
“They need to employ due process. We all know as a matter of fact that in a situation where a person has a licence to mine or carry out any activity, the burden of proof shifts from the enforcement authority to the person who has the licence, so when soldiers go on the field, what they need to enquire is whether you have the licence and then the next action follows. If he contravenes the licence, you take him to court.”
Godfred Dame on the same platform defended government’s decision to burn the excavators, opining that the illegal miners have not right to engage in the act.
“A person engaged in an illegality has no right [to do so]. he principle we are operating with is that no right accrues to a person who is engaged in an illegality, and that is a principle recognised by the laws of Ghana,”, he said.