in

Galamsey report: Otchere-Darko sues Frimpong-Boateng for ¢10m; demands apology, retraction

29th April 2023

Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has sued former Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng for indicting him in his 37-page galamsey report.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng alleged in the said report that through the intervention of Mr Otchere-Darko, some Chinese arrested for illegal mining were released.

Prof Frimpong-Boateng also alleged that Mr Otchere-Darko, who is related to President Akufo-Addo, called him on the phone to interfere with the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) when it was about to stop Imperial Heritage Mining Company from mining in the forest because it did not possess the documents permitting it to do so.

Mr Otchere-Darko wants a retraction and an apology from the world-renowned heart surgeon and a perpetual injunction restraining him from repeating similar or other defamatory words against him.

He is also praying the court for ¢10 million in damages.

“An apology for and retraction of the words complained of and the particularised supra. A perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, whether by himself, his servants, agents or assigns, from repeating similar or other defamatory words against the plaintiff,” Mr Otchere-Darko demanded in his suit.

Your ‘intervention’ got Chinese galamseyers freed & IMCIM task force, journalists attacked by your client’s soldier guards – Frimpong-Boateng to Otchere-Darko

Apart from the freeing of Chinese galamseyers, Prof Frimpong-Boateng had said in his report that Mr Otchere-Darko’s intervention in the fight against galamsey while he was in office also led to an attack on some members of the IMCIM task force and journalists by soldiers who were providing protection for Heritage Imperial, for which Mr Octchere-Darko was a lawyer.

Mr Otchere-Darko had said Professor Frimpong-Boateng, “twisted” the facts surrounding “my inquiry”, as a lawyer, on behalf a client, Heritage Imperial Limited, into why the company had its mining exploration equipment seized by anti-illegal mining task force GalamSTOP despite carrying out legitimate operations.

Responding to Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s allegations contained in a report to the chief of staff dated 19 March 2021 that leaked into the public domain, Mr Otchere-Darko, who is the Lead Partner at Africa Legal Associates, told Citi FM’s Vivian Kai Lokko in an interview that he was only doing his job as a lawyer for his client.

“Heritage had a mining exploration permit issued in July 2019, a forest entry permit issued in November 2018, and also an EPA permit; yet, the soldiers went and seized the equipment of Heritage and, so, I called the soldiers and was told that it was the minister who had sanctioned them and, so, I asked the minister what the issue was with the equipment seizures and the minister said they were prospecting and not exploring and that was the conversation that we had,” he recalled.

“My intervention was to understand why a legitimate company with all the requisite permits was stopped from doing their work and that is what lawyers do,” Mr Otchere-Darko insisted.

In his report, Prof Frimpong-Boateng had said: “We were ready to dislodge Imperial Heritage from Kobro Forest when Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko called to inform me that he was the lawyer for Heritage Imperial Limited, a company that was destroying the Kobro and Apaprama forest reserves and in the process had also polluted and diverted the course of the River Offin, as can be seen in the satellite images below. I informed the president about the behaviour of Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and he promised to deal with it.”

The president’s cousin, however, said: “The minister deliberately twisted the inquiry by a lawyer of a client’s issue to be an interference and; the thing is, it was even a phone call that lasted not more than four minutes and he ended by saying Heritage shouldn’t have been issued with the licence.”

Written by Web Master

‘Galamsey Merchant’ Akufo-Addo fights Aljazeera

NDC stands ‘strong chance’ of winning 2024 presidential, parliamentary polls – EIU report