The Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, otherwise known as Galamsey, has petitioned the Attorney General to provide an explanation for discontinuing the prosecution of Chinese national, Aisha Huang for her alleged role in the illegal activity.
The coalition stressed that clarity is needed to ensure wrong signals are not sent to the public.
The coalition says Ghanaians need some assurance that there are no vested interests in power to prevent the prosecution of Chinese engaged in illegal mining.
Last week, state prosecutors discontinued the trial of ‘Aisha’ Huang and four other Chinese nationals alleged to have carried out illegal mining activities in the country.
The State Attorney, Mercy Arthur, presented the application for nolle prosequi to the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Charles Ekow Baiden.
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But she did not give a reason for the discontinuation of the case.
“We do not subscribe to the view that by our laws, the Attorney-General’s power to issue nolle prosequi is based on an absolute unquestioned discretion so that she is not expected to provide an explanation for such a filing.”
They contend further that article 269 of the constitution removes such discretion.
“Thus the Attorney-General may be called upon, particularly when the matter is one of extreme public interest, such as this case, to offer a clear explanation as to why she became disinterested, and particularly on a day that the investigator in the case was supposed to continue his evidence.”
Aisha Huang was charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).
It was also alleged that she had granted sexual favours to some top officials and continues to enjoy their support due to threats of blackmail if they attempt to expose her.
It is also believed that she is very influential and wields a lot of power due to the backing she receives from some high-profile state officers, including top security personnel.
She was deported on the same day the case was discontinued.
Ghana in recent times has taken her relations with China to another level, entering into several bilateral agreements, with the latest one being the expected $2 billion support for infrastructure development in exchange for Ghana’s bauxite.
For many analysts, such benefits from China appears to be affecting the government’s ability to crack the whip effectively on Chinese nationals destroying Ghana’s environment, forest reserves and water bodies through illegal miming.
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