President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has defended Akonta Mining Company Limited, claiming that the company is not involved in illegal mining, also known as galamsey.
Akonta Mining, which is owned by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, also known as Chairman Wontumi, has been in the news for illegally mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Western Region.
President Akufo, however, stated at the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association in Koforidua that the firm was not involved in any wrongdoing.
“I want to assure you all that Akonta Mining is not currently engaged in any form of illegal mining anywhere in Ghana,” he insisted.
The Lands Ministry had directed the Forestry Commission to ensure that the company does not conduct any operations in the forest and to take appropriate action against anyone found to be responsible.
This came after it declared all of the company’s activities in the Forest Reserve to be illegal.
However, the government stated that, while the mining company has a lease to conduct mining operations in some areas of Samreboi, it does not have any mineral rights to conduct mining operations in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve.
There have been calls to prosecute those in charge of Akonta Mining Limited’s operation in the forest reserve.
In fact, the mining company’s case is currently being investigated by the Special Prosecutor.
The Media Coalition Against Galamsey has recently renewed its calls for the arrest and prosecution of Akonta Mining Limited directors and officers for their alleged involvement in the illegality.
The coalition maintains that there is sufficient evidence to convict Akonta directors and officers.
The request follows a second petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, urging him to conduct an immediate investigation into Akonta Mining’s alleged illegal mining activities.
Chairman Wontumi has previously denied reports that he is involved in illegal mining said he was willing to allow due process.
“I’m pleading with them to use the law. “They should conduct their investigations, and we should let the law do its work,” he said on his Wontumi TV station.
“I want to tell the public that I am not into galamsey,” Mr. Boasiako said in response to speculation that he is involved in illegal mining.
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