The District Chief Executive of Amasie West in the Ashanti Region, Nii Larteh Ollenu, and some officials from his district and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) have been accused of interfering and impeding the works of the inter-ministerial task-force on illegal mining.
According to the Head of the Task-force Monitoring Team, Francis Assibi Abu, the team had a tip-off that some Chinese nationals were illegally mining at Manso Adjaadjokrom, so they moved in and arrested two of them.
To the surprise of the team, Mr. Assibi Abu recounted, some officials from the Assembly and NADMO came to the scene to rather provide protection for the illegal miners.
“They came there because they said our presence there was rather a disaster so they came to the scene to protect them”, he added, “about eight or nine NADMO officers who were in NADMO jackets were also there to rescue the illegal miners”.
When the officials realised that the monitoring team meant business and was not going to allow the Chinese to walk free, they then decided to “plead for them that they are partners”.
He claimed the officials tried to influence the team with money for the release of the illegal miners, “but we told them we cannot do that. I made them aware that was not possible”.
He mentioned one Mr. Samuel Asare Brew who claimed to be the Secretary to the DCE and Mr. Owusu Mensah who also said he is the NPP Organiser among those who tried to impede the work of the task-force.
That notwithstanding, he said the suspects were sent to Obuasi Central Police station and were to be processed for court on Monday, April 29, 2019.
According to him, “obviously, the DCE knows of it because they came with all these officials from the Assembly and NADMO and the community people told us the DCE has a hand in that operation”.
But when contacted, the District Chief Executive, Nii Larteh Ollenu denied claims that Mr. Samuel Asare Brew is his secretary.
According to him, his secretary is a female.
Nii Lartey Ollenu said he will summon a meeting with NADMO and other officers to unravel what transpired.
He also expressed grave concern about the rate at which illegal mining is going on in the district and called for prompt action against it.