Prosecute Akonta Mining Company; Occupy Ghana To Lands Minister
Pressure group Occupy Ghana has written to the Minister for Lands and Natural resources, Samuel Jinapor demanding the prosecution of Akonta Mining Company, a company owned by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Biasiako, known as Chairman Wontumi.
The demand of the group came after the Minister declared illegal the company’s operation in the Tano Namiri forest reserve in the Western Region without a permit and ordered the Forestry Commission to resist the operation of the company in the forest and take the necessary action against persons found culpable.
Congratulating the Minister on the step, Occupy Ghana recognised that the allegations levelled against the company by the Minister depict a breach of section 99(2)(a) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) which is punishable by fines and prison terms between 15 and 25 years.
The Act states that ‘A person who, without a licence granted by the Minister, undertakes a mining operation contrary to a provision of this Act, … commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than ten thousand penalty units and not more than fifteen thousand penalty units and to a term of imprisonment of not less than fifteen years and not more than twenty-five years.’
It added that “the company’s directors and officers would also be culpable because under section 107(1)(a) of Act 703, ‘Where an offence is committed under this Act or under Regulations made under this Act by a body of persons, in the case of a body corporate …, each director or an officer of the body shall also be considered to have committed the offence.’
It, therefore, demands that the Minister hand over facts and evidence that incriminates Akonta Mining Company Limited to the police and the Attorney-General for further investigations and prosecution of the company and its directors and officers.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini