Police in Asamankese arrest a Farmer for Resisting Illegal Mining Operations at Akyem Kobrisu
A 50 year old farmer, Ernest Kwadwo Koranteng Botwe was arrested in a Rambo style by the Asamankese Police command in an operation lead by the Divisional Police Commander, ACP Kankam Boadu on Sunday April 11, 2021 for refusing to allow a mining company by name Denkyira Mining to mine in his concession.
Mr. Koranteng Botwe, his wife and family members were subjected to severe beatings and later dragged into a police vehicle to Asamankese where they were locked up in a Police Cell, according to information gathered. The wife was said to have collapsed in the process of molestation as she was dragged from her house into the waiting Police vehicle, according to Eye witness account.
According to sources, the Denkyira Mining company claims it has permit from the Minerals Commission to mine in the farmlands, however checks reveal that the permit does not fall within the area it is claiming.
Speaking in an interview with the media before his arrest s Ernest Kwadwo Koranteng Botwe, popularly known as Bygoss said
“Denkyira mining company which belongs to a man called Kofi Denkyira, has left his concession and currently mining on my farm land even though his concession does not share boundary with my farmland. I have personally called him to find out why he is encroaching on my land. With my knowledge and understanding of the mining laws, I tried on several occasions to talk to him to use the right process of acquiring farms lands for mining even if he has been given my farm land by the minerals commission, he has to pay the surface right (compensation) before he can work, but my further investigations from the minerals commission area office in Oda shows that he has moved from his concession and is currently working on my farmland and totally disregarding all the mining and environmental laws and regulations.
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“I reported the case to the minerals commissions at Oda and they agreed that my farmland was not granted to Denkyira to mine. They said the 20-acre concession given to Denkyira is far away from my land and that his concession does not share any boundary with my farm land. When the owner of the company was invited and interrogated by the Minerals Commission representative, he verbally assaulted him and threatened to deal with him. I have made several complaints to the Police in Asaman since my area falls in the Asaman division. I have personally gone to the office of the Asaman Divisional Police Commander to help us but he has refused to help. I got to know that he is the one giving the Denkyira mining company the support and protection to engage in the illegal act. So, we are appealing to the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Lands and Forestry to release the Anti Galamsey squad to the place to stop the Denkyira Mining company from further destroying of farm lands and the crops”.
INTERVIEW WITH ASAMAN DIVISIONAL POLICE COMMANDER, ACP KANKAM BOADU
When contacted on phone, the divisional commander of the Asamankese Police ACP Kankam Boadu denied knowledge of the issue. He said “I am not aware of any mining activity by the Denkyira mining company. Nobody has come to me with an issue related to destruction of farmlands. When the commander was told that the farmer had made complaints to the Police on four occasions and attempts were made to settle one of the issues in his office, he still insisted he is not aware. “if he has made complaints to the Police and the issue has not been resolved, he has to come back and make the complaints again he said. He subsequently took the mobile number of the complainant with the promise to call him.
LETTER FROM THE AKYEM ABUAKWA TRADITIONAL COUNCIL
Meanwhile, The Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council has made it clear the said land belongs to Ernest Kwadwo Koranteng Botwe, alias Bygoss.
In a statement dated 11 June 2018, a letter signed by D M Ofori-Atta, state secretary said,
“Following the resolution of the impasse between Baffour Kofi Bio and Mr. Ernest Kwadwo Koranteng Botwe alias Bygoss, by the Kyebi Executive Council, I am instructed to inform you as follows. That a proper deed of transfer or indenture has been executed between his Royal Majesty the Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, the Allodial Owner and the said Ernest Kwadwo Koranteng Botwe. That the deed covers a total of 69.74-acre land lying and laying at Kobriso. That the deed now gives the lessee, Mr. Ernest Kwadwo Koranteng Botwe exclusive legitimate ownership over the said land for a period of Ninety-nine (99) years. That prior to the execution of the indenture, the lessee Ernest Kwadwo Koranteng Botwe had made various payments to the farmers and tenants on the said land. Consequently, I am instructed to inform you to take steps to ensure Mr. Botwe’s peaceful enjoyment of the said land.”
Interestingly, Mr. Botwe is having a tough time on his farmland as attempts to destroy his land in underway.