A security expert has cautioned President Nana Akufo-Addo against taking any hasty decision based on Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ latest exposé.
Mustapha Gbande told Accra-based Starrfm that the method deployed by Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team is “unlawful for that matter the president should be cautious in how he acts on such criminally procured materials from Anas.”
According to him “past presidents have acted hastily and very wrong in law” by acting on works of Anas without any determination of guilt against the cited from the law courts.
He continued: “Mind you every investigative piece has to be subjected to prosecution and prosecution is done by the state.
How then you go and investigate somebody, capture him on video which I call entrapment which is illegal and a criminal conduct. Go and show it to the public even before the person is convicted.
“What Anas is doing, what method is he using. I’ve heard a young man (in the video) say that I’ll fast track everything for you. For what? Is it Galamsey? Anas’ work, how many people have been convicted so far? The judges were only asked to step aside, who has so far been convicted? It is wrong for us to crucify somebody who has not been convicted before a court of competent jurisdiction.”
He also urged the public not to jump to hasty conclusions in pronouncing persons caught in the video guilty.
“So why should we go ahead and punish people who are caught on tape through an illegal means or an illegal investigation? Every accused is innocent until proven guilty. Why should we punish him when we are still going to find out the authenticity of what Anas has done.”
Anas’ latest exposé focused on president Nana Akufo-Addo’s crackdown on galamsey and how people he appointed to end illegal mining were undermining his effort.
In the investigation, a presidential staffer, Charles Bissue, emerges as a facilitator for a company seeking to circumvent laid down processes to be given clearance for its mining operations.
He is seen receiving money to ensure the speedy ‘clearance’ of a mining company in order that it can begin mining as soon as possible. He is heard in the video instructing his subordinates over the phone to “fast track” the processing of the company’s documents.
Many more people connected to the work of the IMCIM, otherwise known as the Presidential Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, are seen in the video facilitating the payment of negotiated fees.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, comprises the ministries of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI); Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR); Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD); Chieftaincy & Religious Affairs; Regional Re-Organisation and Development; Water and Sanitation; Interior; Defence; and Information.
The committee was commissioned in March 2017 by President Akufo-Addo to sanitise the mining sector and also develop a roadmap towards lifting an indefinite ban on small scale mining that lasted for about 21 months.
The committee is chaired by Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation.
To support the committee, the president also inaugurated a joint security taskforce (Operation Vanguard) that patrolled mining areas in the country to enforce the ban, seize or destroy mining equipment of those who flouted the ban, as well as arrest offenders for prosecution.