The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah-Dame, has called on Ghanaians to disregard the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) accusations against him regarding the galamsey report, describing them as baseless and unmeritorious.
According to him, the NDC’s accusations of him engaging in moves to cover up officials complicit in galamsey are nothing but a desperate attempt to cover up for their own failures to fight the galamsey menace when it was in power.
He revealed that in spite of a multitude of “allegations and invectives” spewed on him by the Communications Officer of the NDC, not a single piece of evidence was furnished by the party in proof of any allegation made by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng against any person named in his report.
Contained in a statement dated today, October 18, 2023, Mr Dame indicated that the entire NDC’s press conference was, in point of fact, “vitiated by a fraudulent” attempt at explaining its orchestrated lies and abuses against him.
“I respectfully urge the public to utterly disregard the discredited assertions of the NDC as unmeritorious and lacking any form of credibility. It is the height of injustice to prosecute people for crimes when there is no evidence.
“It is for this reason that the Office of Attorney-General did not prosecute either Prof Frimpong-Boateng or his son, Jojo Frimpong-Boateng in the face of allegations by the Adansiman Progressive Association that they were seriously engaged in Galamsey.”Godfred Yeboah-Dame
Attorney general clarifies comments on galamsey report
Clarifying the matter, the Attorney General explained that the docket built by the CID on the Frimpong-Boateng report presented to the Office of the Attorney-General for review, was an inquiry into specific allegations by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng against specifically named individuals.
He noted that the same was not a probe into general galamsey issues in the country, as the NDC “mischievously” sought to portray to the nation.
Additionally, Mr Dame highlighted that the conclusions by the “learned” Chief State Attorney are thus, only in relation to those specific allegations.
“Prosecution for galamsey offences, including those committed in all forest reserves and water bodies, continues throughout the country.”Godfred Dame
Moreover, Mr Yeboah-Dame emphasized that the “wild allegation” that he is engaged in an exercise to cover up crimes allegedly committed by the NPP is therefore “perplexing, dubious and mischievous” to say the least.
As a result, he reckoned the press conference by the NDC as only the latest in the series of attacks on him for decisions taken in the regular course of his functions as Attorney-General which the NDC finds to be “inimical to its interests”.
Touching on NDC’s record on galamsey, Mr Dame revealed that the punishment regime for the offence of illegal mining when the NDC was in power consisted of the option of a “paltry fine” or a term of up to three years in prison.
That notwithstanding, he highlighted that no significant convictions for Galamsey offences were recorded in the regime of the NDC, when it had the opportunity to govern.
Moreover, the Attorney General stated that the NDC flagbearer before the 2020 General Elections, “openly declared amnesty for all those arrested for engaging in Galamsey activities in communities affected by the heinous environmental hazard”.
“Following the enactment of the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995) in the administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the punishment regime for illegal mining was drastically enhanced to a minimum of 15 years for a Ghanaian and 20 years for a non-Ghanaian. This rendered prosecution more difficult as culprits, faced with the reality of the lack of an option of a fine, became more reluctant to plead guilty.”Godfred Dame
Meanwhile, Mr Dame maintained that in spite of the challenges in prosecution of galamsey culprits, he has recorded “greater success” in securing conviction for Galamsey offences than witnessed in erstwhile NDC administrations.