National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Clement Apaak, has said a recent report that cleared some government officials in the illegal sale of rosewood is a cover-up.
The seven-member committee was constituted by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to investigate alleged corruption by some government officials in the illegal rosewood export.
The Committee, chaired by Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister of the Ministry, said video footages and other materials provided by the Environmental Intelligence Agency (EIA) did not have sufficient evidence to back its corruption claims.
However, in a short comment on the report, Dr Apaak gives two reasons to back his claims that the report is a “big cover-up”.
READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW
Rosewood – The big cover up government committee report is out folks. Here is why it’s a cover up among many other reasons I will illuminate in the coming days.
1) The government committee intentionally refused to invite the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which published a detailed report ” Ban Boozled” suggesting government officials, New Patriotic Party members/officials were being given permits illegally to harvest and export rosewood in collaboration with leading officials of the Forestry Commission.
2) The committee didn’t invite the producer of the equally damning Joy Fm documentary titled “Killing Our Roses” which made similar allegations.
So, how could the committee claim it “didn’t have adequate evidence to establish corruption cases against any officials of government” when neither the EIA nor the Joyfm investigative reporters who have such information were not invited to provide better and further particulars?
Though government largely ignored the damning earlier JoyFm documentary report, it instituted the committee on the back of the international embarrassment captured in the EIA report that forced the hand of government to set up the lopsided committee led by Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, to investigate this issue.
I will formally respond to the 77-page government “coverup” committee report in detail in the coming days. All the same, I await the outcome of my petition to the Special Prosecutor based on the EIA and Joy FM reports.
Dr. Clement Apaak
M.P, Builsa South