Justice Abdulai, a private attorney, thinks that the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s (OSP) decision to arrest Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the former chairman of the disbanded Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), is an intentional effort to silence him.
Like other interested parties, Abdulai thinks that the arrest of a former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation raises questions and might be an attempt by the government to hide criminal activity connected to galamsey.
The OSP detained Professor Frimpong-Boateng last month so that he could respond to inquiries on alleged corruption and offenses related to corruption in relation to the operations and expenses of the disbanded IMCIM, which he presided over.
The private legal practitioner, indicated that, “How do those cases mentioned in the report by the Professor get shrouded in secrecy and treated as though they do not even exist? It then creates suspicion and indeed mischief in the minds of people and every watcher that the arrest of the Professor is a clear attempt to simply gag him sort of or cover up some of these matters on illegal mining.”
“But I do not think that if you are transparent, honest and indeed committed to fighting corruption and ensuring accountability within our public sector system, this will be the right way to go.”Justice Abdulai
Abdulai questioned why Professor Frimpong-Boateng was detained, instead of being invited to the OSP to respond to questions.
“The Professor may indeed be the head of IMCIM, he may have more answers, but couldn’t we have achieved the same objective by inviting him, rather than arresting him? Because the man has already shown that he’s committed to giving out information, he’s not afraid of giving more information. You could have divulged more information from him that could have aided the fight against galamsey and corruption.”Justice Abdulai
OSP Is Supoosed To Be Independent
Franklin Cudjoe, the President of the think tank IMANI Africa, condemned the Presidency for the rise in unease among Ghanaians, following the detention of Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the former chairman of the disbanded Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
He claimed that if the Presidency had responded quickly when the report was initially provided, some individuals would not have accused it of ordering the arrest of Prof. Frimpong-Boateng.
Franklin Cudjoe said, “When government gives the wrong impression that they want to interfere in the work of persons who are perceived to be doing things right, then their subsequent actions, even if they were doing so through institutions like the OSP, even though the OSP is supposed to be independent, then everybody begins to be suspicious. I can understand the suspicion that has brought this conversation up on the arrest of the good old Professor. If the government had acted promptly on the report by the Professor and paid some attention to it.”
“At the time he finished the report, galamsey was probably worst and so if the government had acted swiftly at that time, and stemmed the tide, all these accusations will not come up, and we probably wouldn’t be getting here. There’s a seeming discomfort that we are expressing because of the timing of the arrest.”Franklin Cudjoe
The arrest of Professor Frimpong-Boateng, according to the president of IMANI Africa, came at an odd time.
“The OSP had said they were going to investigate activities of the IMCIM, which was a good thing. Unfortunately, if they were indeed waiting to invite the head of the committee as it were, the OSP will have to explain to us the timeline when they intended to investigate the committee as against when they received the so-called allegations against the professor. Because that will be instructive, anything that falls short of that will lead people to speculate, including myself. I think the timing was a bit too suspicious.”Franklin Cudjoe
The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, defended his decision to arrest Professor Frimpong-Boateng, saying that though he respects the professor, he was simply doing his job.