The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) is urging media houses and civil society groups to demand that leaders take action against the directors of Akonta Mining Limited for their illegal mining activities.
The Convener of MCAG, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, said the directors of Akonta Mining Limited should face legal consequences for destroying water bodies and lands in the forest reserve where they operated without a permit.
He made this call after meeting with top officials of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) on Thursday, June 8, 2023, to follow up on the investigation into Akonta Mining Limited’s mining operations in the Tano Nmira Forest Reserves.
Dr. Ashigbey stated that “there was enough evidence that Akonta Mining had violated the Minerals Commission. Therefore, we were expecting that after this long period, some action would have been taken, and they would have been in court by now.”
He added that “the media has the mandate to hold leadership to account, according to our Constitution. Citi FM and other media houses, you need to make sure that the Director General of CID, the Attorney General, and the judiciary ensure that the likes of the directors of Akonta Mining and other influential people, including Aisha Huang and Yaw Danso Bosome Freho, the former District Chief Executive, are brought to book.”
The Convener of MCAG also said that it was pointless for leaders to plant trees without protecting the existing forests.
“It is really important that leaders take action. Today, we are out there planting trees. For example, in the case of Akonta Mining, the number of trees that have been cut down from these forests is alarming. As much as we want to plant trees, we need to ensure that we safeguard our forests, cocoa, and not support this illegality. It is important that all of us, including civil society and the media, ensure that we get leaders to do what they ought to do,” Dr. Ashigbey asserted.
MCAG sent two petitions to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, in January 2023, to conduct swift investigations into the alleged illegal mining activities by Akonta Mining, which is owned by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi-Boasiako.
The MCAG said it was informed that investigations were ongoing, but the group expressed disappointment that the directors of Akonta Mining Limited had not yet been prosecuted, despite the clear evidence of their alleged wrongdoing.