IGP Dr George Akuffo Dampare

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, will on Thursday, October 27 meet with the Media Coalition Against Galamsey, over the latter’s petition for the prosecution of Akonta Mining firm for its alleged involvement in illegal mining.

The invitation follows the Group’s petition to the IGP to arrest, investigate and prosecute the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi for alleged illegal mining.

In addition, the IGP has asked the Coalition to submit their statements to the Police.

This was disclosed to JoyNews by the Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition, Kenneth Ashigbey.

The petition last Friday by the Coalition was signed by its Convener, Mr Ashigbey, private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, a Fellow of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Kwame Asiedu and Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu.

Akonta Mining Company, a mining firm said to belong to the politician and gold dealer, Chairman Wontumi, has been accused of engaging in illegal mining in the Tano Nimri Forest Reserve.

Lands and Natural Resources, Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor, confirmed the allegation of illegal mining, stating that the company had no lease to mine and ordered it to halt operations.

The Media Coalition Against Galamsey in its petition said the alleged act by Chairman Wontumi and his company was against the Mining Act, 2006 Act 703 as amended by the Minerals and Mining (Amendment Act) Act, 2019 (Act 995).

“Akonta Mining went in the Forest with excavators, pumping machines, power generators, cars, and other equipment. Then they cleared some parts of the forest of the trees and other vegetation. They subsequently excavated the soil and undertook other mining operations as shown in the videos,” the petitioners added.

They further stated that the company “conducted prospecting in the same Forest without the requisite licences/permits” hence the need to carry on with this move.

However, Chairman Wontumi has denied any involvement in illegal mining. He said his company, Akonta Mining Limited, has all the required documentation.

Speaking on Wontumi TV on Monday, October 3, Chairman Wontumi said he is ready to make the document available.

“I am appealing to them to use the law. They should do their investigations, and we should let the law work.

“I have a large scale company which Akonta mining is under… All the required documents I have, I will make all available[sic],” he added.

He, thus, rejected accusations that he is involved in galamsey.

“I want to tell the public that I am not into galamsey,” he insisted.