Lead partner at Africa Legal Associates, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has debunked allegations of former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng that the New Patriotic Party’s firebrand interfered in the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
Mr. Otchere-Darko told Citi TV/Citi FM’s Vivian Kai Lokko in an exclusive interview that the former Minister’s accusations are a wrongful twist of facts for reasons best known to him.
Mr. Otchere-Darko explained that the only time he engaged the ex-minister was when a client of his law firm had issues with officers of the government’s GalamSTOP operation.
He explained that Heritage Imperial Limited was accused of prospecting for gold and had its equipment seized which made him intervene because the company had all the relevant permits to do what they were doing.
“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.
“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-Darkoadded that it is unfortunate Professor Frimpong-Boateng had to twist the interaction he had with him to mean interference in the IMCIM’s work.
“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 license.”
Professor Frimpong-Boateng in a bombshell report disclosed that Gabby pestered him when the IMCIM was about dislodging the Imperial Heritage.
“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.”