The Minority in Parliament has revealed that the arrest of former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, by the Office of the Special Prosecutor is awkward and unimpressive.
According to the minority, the arrest of Prof. Frimpong Boateng seems to be a calculated attempt to cover up top government officials who were cited in the report released by the former minister, which indicted some NPP officials for allegedly engaging in illegal mining activities.
Ranking Member on the Lands and Forestry Committee of Parliament, Dr. Rashid Pelpuo, stated that the arrest does not speak well of the government. He noted that there is the need for government to do more in the fight against corruption.
“A few days ago, we heard the news of the arrest of Professor Frimpong-Boateng and we find the arrest awkward and unimpressive because rather than working with the professor to get to the roots of the problem, he is rather seen as a culprit and not an informant. This creates the impression that his arrest is meant to becloud the accusation of the government’s involvement in corrupt activities.”Dr. Rashid Pelpuo
Furthermore, Mr Pelpuo urged the government to arrest individuals accused of engaging or interfering in the fight against illegal mining in the report released by Professor Frimpong-Boateng, to portray the government’s seriousness.
“We believe that if the government seriously wants to demonstrate its seriousness in fighting galamsey, it must go beyond the arrest of Professor Frimpong-Boateng. It should go wider by ensuring the arrest of government appointees at the Jubilee House.”Dr. Rashid Pelpuo
Professor Frimpong-Boateng was interrogated and granted bail by the Office of the Special Prosecutor OSP last month after he was invited to answer questions about suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of the activities and expenditure of the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining IMCIM, which he chaired.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng sued for defamation
Meanwhile, former Member of Parliament for the Manso Nkwanta constituency, Joseph Albert Quarm, has sued the former chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, for defamation.
Mr. Quarm, among other reliefs, is seeking GHC2.5 million in damages from the former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as a restraining order preventing Prof. Frimpong-Boateng from making further commentary on the galamsey report he authored.
Furthermore, Mr Quarm has revealed that he hopes the court will declare “that the Defendant’s averments in his report which alleged underhand sales of mining concessions to the Plaintiff is capable of a defamatory meaning and are actually defamatory of the Plaintiff”.
Additionally, he is seeking an “injunction restraining the Defendant his servants, or agents or otherwise, from further publishing or causing to be published any portion of the Defendant’s report so long as they relate to the allegations made against the Plaintiff”.
Also, he wants the court to further restrain the publication or repetition of the said or similar words defamatory of the Plaintiff through media interviews and other such by the Defendant.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng in the report leaked to the public domain alleged, among other things that, the former MP had used his position as a board member on the Minerals Commission to acquire dozens of mining concessions.
Professor Fimpong-Boateng also alleged in the report that Mr. Quarm would usually end “up selling these concessions to private individuals, including party members for two hundred thousand Cedis per concession”.
This, Prof Frimpong-Boateng explained, “infuriated the party in the constituency so during the 2020 primaries to select a candidate the electorate voted against Hon. Quarm, the sitting MP, who was more resourced than other candidates”.
A number of persons mentioned in the report have all taken legal action against the former IMCIM chairman.