January 11, 2023

Our Fight Against Corruption Better Than Yours; Jinapor “Respectfully” Tells Mahama

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has “politely” confronted former President John Dramani Mahama over the fight against corruption in the country.

According to him, records show the Akufo-Addo administration is doing better than what the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration did in terms of corruption fight.

He relayed this message in the form of an open letter to Mahama.

“Sir, whilst I have the opportunity, permit me to assert, without a shred of equivocation, that the record of President Akufo-Addo’s Government in the past six years of fighting corruption far surpasses the NDC’s eight-year record.”

He outlined the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and Right to Information (RTI) Act as some of the measures that make the NPP administration better than the NDC.

“Needless to point out that President Akufo-Addo’s extraordinary funding of anti-corruption institutions, the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which as I speak, is investigating this matter, the passage of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989), rapid investigations of allegations of corruption, and many more are testament to his remarkable record in the fight against corruption.”

He added, “I have reluctantly come out to set these records straight due to the very unfair and unfortunate manner in which you have attacked the unblemished reputation and integrity of the President of the Republic, your successor.”

The Minister in the letter also responded to Mahama’s backlash at President Akufo-Addo over Akonta Mining.

Following the accusation that Akonta Mining Limited was illegally mining in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve last year, the OSP and the Ghana Police Service began separate investigations.

 

At the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association in Koforidua on January 4, the President said “I want to assure you all that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any form of illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak”.

 

This was taken up by Mahama who took to his Facebook page to describe the comment of the president as unacceptable and an attempt to interfere with the investigation of the OSP and the police.

He added, “As though proud of that dishonourable badge, ‘the clearing agent’, Nana Akufo-Addo has yet again justified the appropriateness of his nickname with the seeming presidential exoneration of Akonta Mining, a company owned by a member of his political party (NPP) and accused of illegal gold mining in the country’s forest reserves.”

He continued, “Fortunately, and unfortunately, we are told by the owner of Akonta Mining that the Minister has explained to him they were forced to unwillingly act against his company because of public pressure from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), CSOs and NGOs. He also very alarmingly said the President called him ostensibly to appease him over Government’s action and that the Office of Special Prosecutor cannot touch him.”

In reaction to this, Jinapor pointed out the commentary was full of “gross misinformation and political spin” in an “attempt to disparage my integrity and that of the President”.

He noted that the statement by the President was in response to a question by the Chairman of the occasion and to the current state of the forest and the company.

“The comments by the President in no way relate to past or future activities of Akonta Mining, and cannot, by any shred of imagination, be deemed as exonerating the company from any past activities or interfering with any ongoing investigations.”

“The President, mindful of these ongoing investigations, refrained from speaking on past activities of the company which are under investigations by the state agencies. Indeed, but for the specific question posed by the Chairman of the occasion, the President would not have mentioned Akonta Mining at all.”

On the appeasement of Akonta Mining as alleged by Mahama, Jinapor stated, “Neither has the President called any official of Akonta Mining to “appease” them on the action taken by Government. These claims, if they were indeed made, as you suggest, are, obviously, false and a figment of peoples’ own imagination”.

 

He noted that Akonta Mining Ltd is being duly investigated by state institutions responsible for such investigations, the Ghana Police Service and the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

He also stated that officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources are collaborating with the institutions to conduct their investigations and take the necessary actions.

 

 

Source: opemsuo: com/Hajara Fuseini

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