Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, managing editor of The New Crusading Guide newspaper has revealed that a court has slapped Ghana with a $15 million judgement debt after some government officials involved in the galamsey fight sold mining equipment that belonged to a company.
Baako disclosed that the court found the state guilty after state officials failed to properly account for the whereabouts of the excavators.
“Those who seized the earlier excavators, are they known? Were they responsible citizens of the nation? So if excavators are missing, can’t they be held responsible. Are we saying the law doesn’t make provision for that?
“There is a case in court about excavators which were seized in the first wave of the Akufo-Addo campaign. When they seized the things, they sold them to different people who were using it. It’s a court case and I have the judgement here. The court has fined the state some $15 million for us to pay as a cost of all the equipment we seized which have gone missing. The judge cited the name of someone in the judgment,” he said.
Baako was protesting the decision by government to set ablaze equipment seized at the galamsey site in the Operation Halt II exercise.
He noted that the law on mining provides a roadmap in dealing with excavators seized at the sites and must be followed by the government.
“The burning of excavators is mindless and lawless. This is a law governing society so if you make laws and feel that the law is impossible to implement, there is an option – just amend the law. You don’t make a law and let the law prevail but go out there to violate the law and it’s state actors who are engaged in mindless and lawless actions. I’m unable to reconcile that.”
“During the Mahama crusade, we burnt excavators. Akufo-Addo’s campaign too we are burning excavators. When we seized some equipment, didn’t they go missing? Didn’t some of them go back to the field?” he quizzed.
Baako intimated that government has resorted to burning the equipment to cover up for its own “institutional impotence and dysfunctional system.”
“So here we are admitting our chronic impotence. institutional impotence and dysfunctional system so we seek refuge and say, burn the things. Is that a solution? The law says when you seize it, take the illegal miners to court and if the court convicts them, it hands over the equipment to the appropriate authority,” he said.