Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has described as a figure of speech, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s characterization of the controversy surrounding Aisha Huang’s supposed departure from Ghana and her re-entry.
In a radio interview in Ho on Monday, the President said he was not sure whether the notorious Chinese illegal miner was actually deported or she fled.
The comment has since attracted public backlash, with many questioning the President’s briefings on the matter.
But the Information Minister on Eyewitness News said the President knows, fully well, the facts of the case.
“It was a figure of speech. The President knows what happened. He has clarity on it. It was a question he was answering… [That was why he said] That he was not too sure that this was deportation or repatriation.”
The Government of Ghana insists that Aisha Huang was repatriated, not deported out of Ghana.
She was repatriated under the name En Huang.
The question of the deportation or otherwise of the notorious Chinese illegal miner resurfaced after President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a media interview that he was not sure whether she fled out of the country or was actually deported.
Official records available to Citi News indicate that Aisha Huang’s residence permit was revoked on December 19, 2018, and an Ethiopian Airline ticket was procured for her departure.
The government is yet to answer whether Aisha Huang was properly escorted out of the jurisdiction and whether the Ghana Mission in Beijing supervised her arrival in China, among other questions.
While speaking on the issue, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said “the fact is she was repatriated from the Ghanaian jurisdiction.”
“She found herself back in the Ghanaian Jurisdiction. The security agencies did not go to bed. They arrested her, she is in custody. She has not been granted bail,” he added.
Shift focus to prosecution
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah wants the discourse around Aisha Huang to shift to her prosecution.
Since she was arrested earlier in September, the focus was on how she ended up back in Ghana after reports that she had been made to leave the country in 2018.
While documents indicated she was given a notice of repatriation in December 2018, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said, “what the majority of people are interested in is what happens next.”
Mr. Nkrumah reiterated the government’s intent to prosecute Aisha Huang with the new mining laws that have emerged since 2018.
Tougher laws mean she is facing jail time of up to 15 years.
“The Attorney General has expressed clearly that under this new piece of legislation, Act 995, he is going to ensure that there is full prosecution.”
“The fact is she was repatriated from the Ghanaian jurisdiction. She found herself back in the Ghanaian Jurisdiction. The security agencies did not go to bed. They arrested her, she is in custody. She has not been granted bail.”
“I think all of our national attention must go strongly to focus on that and to see that through and to get results for the people of Ghana,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said.