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An update on 3 major unresolved corruption cases

In this blog post, we go back to 2019 to find out the status of three groundbreaking anti-corruption cases in our bid to pursue cases from start to finish, prevent impunity and ensure reform.

The cases we will be focusing on are the Galamsey Fraud case, the Missing Excavators case and the ‘Contracts for Sale‘ procurement scandal.

GALAMSEY FRAUD 

On Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas released a 27-minute documentary titled “Galamsey Fraud Part One.” In an article published on Ghana Web ahead of the premier of the documentary, Anas authored the following: “A measure to minimize the mess and menace of illegal mining in the motherland is being undermined by men mandated to manage the menace, leaving Ghana at the mercy of mercenary miners and monstrous money-grabbers within the corridors of power.”

You may recall that President Akufo-Addo’s government took steps to clean the mining sector by placing a ban on illegal mining. Consequently, government set up the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) to implement a two-year road map.

While the Committee received plaudits in some quarters for a good job done, there had been complaints over time about underhand dealings involving officials in charge at the IMCIM who allegedly took bribes to allow people circumvent the rules of the roadmap. In fact, some claimed that one could be allowed to go on the field with excavators to mine without proper documentation and approval as prescribed by the Road Map. It was also alleged that some powerful people close to, or within the IMCIM could arrange protection for people engaged in illegal mining.

These were the issues Anas decided to test in that investigation. 

We know that one of the key people accused in the documentary was the former Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal Mining (IMCIM), Mr. Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue.

We also know that in July 2019, five months after the release of the documentary, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service cleared Mr. Bissue of the allegations of corruption.

The CID had concluded in an investigative report that Mr. Bissue did not circumvent the laid down procedures of the IMCIM to favour a company that was at the centre of the incident.

However, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu rejected the CID conclusions and indicated that he had not finished with his investigations. Mr. Amidu had been petitioned by Anas and received the video documentary that showed the officials taking bribes as well as unedited recordings to aid his investigations. 

MISSING EXCAVATORS 

Moving on, you may also recall that linked to the galamsey story was the case of some missing excavators. Indeed, the story of the missing excavators surfaced almost one year after the Anas documentary was released. Some news reports claimed that about 500 excavators had gone missing. 

The Ghanaian Times also reported in early February 2020 that the CID had arrested six persons, including the then Central Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Ekow Ewusi. 

According to the state newspaper, the police had conducted the arrest in order to get firsthand information about the whereabouts of some missing excavators, which were placed under the care of Mr Ewusi.

Also, in February 2020, news portal Modern Ghana reported that Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation had stated that all seized mining excavators that had gone missing would soon be found.

According to the report, the Minister said that the country’s security agencies were following up on the issue closely and would soon bring it to its logical conclusion. 

CONTRACTS FOR SALE 

Now, let’s turn our attention to the “Contracts for Sale” story. Indeed, that 46-minute documentary was first aired on the Joy News platform. 

In that report, Manasseh Azure Awuni revealed that Talent Discovery Limited (TDL), a company incorporated in June 2017, had won a number of government contracts through restrictive tendering.

Manasseh also revealed that the company was engaged in selling contracts. 

But the biggest revelation from that documentary was the alleged involvement of the now suspended boss of the Public Procurement Authority, Adjenim Boateng Adjei. 

Listen to excerpts of that story below:

Excerpts from the CONTRACTS FOR SALE investigation report by Manasseh Azure

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