Former Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Charles Bissue, has claimed he was set up to be caught on tape collecting a purported bribe to facilitate the issuance of a mining licence.
Mr. Bissue, who has long maintained his innocence in the matter, said the corruption perception was fabricated by persons close to him.
Speaking on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, he said he knew the person who set him up and was already suspicious of him ahead of the exposé.
“There was nothing like corruption. Somebody manufactured it because he wanted to go into illegal mining, which I stopped.”
Though he was seen on tape taking money, Mr. Bissue sad the money he received was not a bribe, but money meant for legitimate purposes.
“It was from Wontumi [the Ashanti Region New Patriotic Party Chairman] to my Regional Organiser [in the Western Region]. There was a programme in the Western Region for my Regional Organiser.”
Mr. Bissue further maintained that there was no corruption in the Inter-Ministerial Committee Mining Committee.
“Anas and his people made it look as if they actually set out because there was so much corruption there, so they had to do something, but that is a big lie.”
Though he says he does not intend to pursue legal action against the persons he said set him up, Mr. Bissue said, “those people out there who orchestrated this hideous crime should be punished”.
In 2019, Mr. Bissue voluntarily resigned as the Secretary of IMCIM after he was allegedly caught on tape collecting a bribe to facilitate the issuance of a mining licence in Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ exposé on illegal mining.
Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his TigerEye PI released a video showing state officials, including Mr. Bissue, allegedly taking bribes to sidestep the laid down procedures for the procurement of mining licences.
He was heard instructing his subordinates to fast-track the processing of the company’s documents in the video.
Several others connected to the work of the committee, otherwise known as the Presidential Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, were also implicated in acts of corruption.
Following the release of the video, Anas and his team formally petitioned the office of the Special Prosecutor to probe the matter and deal with persons who compromised their positions and perpetrated illegalities.
The team also made available the video documentary that showed the officials taking bribes to the Special Prosecutor’s office.