Tsatsu Tsikata says it is unlawful for the government, as measures put in place to fight against galamsey, to be burning mining excavators and other mining equipment used for illegal mining.
He described the excuses by the various government officials who have tried to justify the burning of the equipment as “nonsense” because the government cannot use illegality to fight illegality.
“That is nonsense. That is nonsense because you don’t fight illegality with illegality. You don’t presume people are guilty before you go through any process. There is no provision in any law of this country that allows the government to do that,” he stated in a Joy News report sighted by GhanaWeb.
He said the position taken by the government is at variance with anything he has ever taught as a law lecturer.
The Akufo-Addo government has been heavily criticized, with many raising concerns that the directive to the military task force gives them too much power contrary to the law and due process.
Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has insisted that the burning of excavators does not go against the country’s laws; adding that courting of sympathy for perpetrators leaves much to be desired.
Dame had referenced a court decision involving mining company, Exton Cubic, to back his position, stating:
“I find it – with all due respect – a little bit reprehensible when people instead of ensuring that the government leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to bring to a halt this menace, are rather advocating for the recognition of some non-existing rights of persons engaged in the act.”