Ordering Wontumi's mining firm to stop work without permit not enough – OccupyGhana

Pressure group, OccupyGhana has said the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor ordering the Forestry Commission to stop Akonta Mining Company that belongs to the NPP's Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako popularly called Chairman Wontumi from operating in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Western Region is not enough.

Chairman Wontumi

According to OccupyGhana, the ministry must invite the security agencies and the Attorney General into the fray by furnishing them with the information needed to ensure that perpetrators are punished.

It said "We, therefore, demand that you forthwith refer the facts and evidence in your possession that show that the said mining company is undertaking mining operations in breach of the Act, to the police and the Attorney-General for further investigations and prosecution of the company and its directors and officers."

In a statement, the group congratulated the ministry for its latest action but said the directive to stop mining is not enough to deter the menace of illegal mining in the country.

"While congratulating you on this step, we would be taken aback if that was all you did.

"If the company is engaged in the activities that you have alleged, then it is committing an offence that is punishable by fines and prison terms between 15 and 25 years," it added.

The Ministry of Lands on Friday, September 30, 2022, ordered the Company owned by Chairman Wontumi to desist from mining in the forest without a permit.

In a statement, the Ministry said "The attention of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been drawn to publications about certain operations by Akonta Mining Limited in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality in the Western Region.

"Records available to the Ministry show that while Akonta Mining Ltd has a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, the company has no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve."

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh