The Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Adam Mutawakilu has called for the arrest of the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng for his alleged role in the disappearance of the hundreds of excavators seized from illegal miners.
“He [Frimpong Boateng] should be the one who should be arrested for first of all breaching the law and paving the way for others,” the MP told the media on Wednesday.
“He didn’t follow the law and as a result, the constituency chairman [and] regional chairman, now have the opportunity to take part in the vanishing and sale of these excavators,” Mr. Mutawakilu added.
The MP also noted that the committee plans to push for the Ministers of Environment, Science and Technology and Lands and Natural Resources to appear before it to answer for the hundreds of missing excavators seized from illegal miners.
“We will first of all push for the Minister; both Frimpong-Boateng and the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to appear before it,” he said.
Mr. Mutawakilu added that the committee is still seeking clarity in various aspects of the case.
“We would like to have clear evidence of why they breached the law and why he [the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology] has not resigned and also the President’s responsibility; why he has not fired him,” he explained.
Arrests so far
So far, six persons have been arrested in connection with the missing excavators and since granted bail.
The six, include the suspended First Vice Chairman of the New Patriotic Party in the Central Region, Ekow Ewusi.
They have been cautioned with the offence of stealing and abetment to stealing.
According to the CID, the five others arrested individuals are alleged accomplices of Ekow Ewusi, who was contracted to take custody of the seized equipment.
The controversy began when Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister said most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners had vanished.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng subsequently wrote a letter to the Police CID to investigate Horace Ekow Ewusi, suspended First Vice Chairman of the governing NPP, over his alleged involvement in the missing earth-moving equipment.
Ekow Ewusi was contracted by the government to cart excavators and other vehicles and pieces of equipment seized by the anti-illegal mining task force to designated areas for safekeeping.
The government has faced criticism for its purported negligence in the matter with the leader of the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, Ken Ashigbey, chiding it for failing to devise stringent measures to ensure the safety of the excavators.