Home / News / I did no wrong serving as lawyer for firm given permit to mine – Gabby

I did no wrong serving as lawyer for firm given permit to mine – Gabby

A leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, says he did no wrong in defending a company cited in the bombshell report authored by a former Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng in a report accused Mr. Otchere-Darko of interfering in the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).

The former Minister argued that, at the time, there was a suspension on the issuance of licenses for operation in forest reserves, but Mr. Otchere-Darko jumped to the defence of a company that was said to be actively destroying the environment.

Professor Frimpong-Boateng said he was ‘saddened’ by the actions of Mr. Otchere-Darko who is close to the presidency.

“Despite the fact that Cabinet directed the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources “to suspend the issuance of all new licences/permits by the Forestry Commission” and also to “suspend the licences already issued for operation in forty-seven (47) forests reserves”, the directives were ignored and the destruction continued. Worse still, soldiers had officially been withdrawn from mining sites, but in many areas, regular Ghana Army personnel were seen providing security at illegal mining sites. What saddened me most was when Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko called to defend a company that was actively destroying the environment, especially the forests and River Offin in the Apaprama and Kobro Forests,” Professor Frimpong-Boateng narrated.

Mr. Otchere-Darko explained that, “When I called him [former Minister] he said they [clients] shouldn’t have been given the permit to enter the forest. I asked him if he was challenging the permit issued as fake. And he said they shouldn’t have been issued. He gave me his side of the story which he believed that they were doing mining and not prospecting. My intervention was to understand why a legitimate company with all the licenses and permits required to do prospecting was stopped from doing its work. And that is what we lawyers do. It’s my job to protect the interest of my clients”.

“There was no issue about halting operation, it was an issue of being issued a forest entry permit. And they entered the mining concession after they were issued all the permits. So even if there was an issue, it was an issue between the regulatory bodies”.

He narrated that his clients were being frustrated hence his intervention.

source: CNR

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