Home / News / A whole Ghanaian state lacks capacity to stop galamsey? – Shocked Justice Atuguba asks

A whole Ghanaian state lacks capacity to stop galamsey? – Shocked Justice Atuguba asks

A retired justice of the Supreme Court, William Atuguba, has expressed shock at the inability of the state with all the power and resources to end the illegal mining menace devastating the country’s water bodies and the environment.

Although President Akufo-Addo put his presidency on the line to end the ‘galamsey’ menace, the destruction of water bodies and the country’s forest reserves in search of gold continues in many parts of the country.

The government task-force that was set up to end the menace has now hanged its boots, after the national fight was embroiled in several controversies such as the disappearance of seized excavators and bribery and corruption among other issues.

Tests conducted on ten major rivers across the country have revealed high levels of dangerous heavy metals.

The Oda, Ankobra, Tano, Offin and six others presented dangerous levels of Lead, Arsenic, Chromium and Cadmium.

Scientists say swimming or using these waters for farming presents a major health risk.

Almost all major rivers and streams nationwide are highly polluted by irresponsible mining.

While many have called on the government to boldly deal with the canker by arresting the real financiers and perpetrators of the act believed to be politically exposed persons, the state claims there is no hard evidence to nail the so-called big fishes.

The respected legal luminary, Justice William Atuguba, who has recently spoken bluntly on public perceptions about the judiciary, expressed concern about the devastating effects of illegal mining.

According to him, he had only heard about the pollution of rivers by ‘galamsey’ in the news until he once travelled to one of the gold mining regions and saw one of the brownish-looking rivers.

He revealed that while serving as a justice of the Supreme Court, he attempted at some point to rally his colleagues to play a role in the fight against illegal mining, but aborted the idea because he had no support.

“That’s a big worry to me because what does it mean. That a whole Ghanaian state is unable to eradicate this menace. It hasn’t got the capacity? How shocking? You have the army and the police and they can’t put down this menace. The whole state of Ghana…wonderful” he exclaimed.

“Let me confess, when I was on the bench, one day I was going to Kumasi, and I used to hear that the water bodies were polluted. Then on the way, we saw some river flowing; and it was like clay. It wasn’t water. So when I came back I said this is the reality.”

“So, I started telling my colleagues that normally judges don’t act on their own, but we shouldn’t sit down and see the country dying like this. Let us summon the people who should have put down this menace and order them to do it. Well, I didn’t get support; but I understand. I think that I was going too far” he said laughingly.

The common law is the handiwork of the judges and it is not static. It is fine-tuned to redress societal challenges and evils. The judges make laws; but it’s step by step. So I felt that this was going too far and then my retirement came “he noted.

About Justice William Atuguba

William Atuguba was a prosecutor, state attorney, and Ghana’s former Justice of the Supreme Court. He was enrolled as a magistrate on 3 October 1974 and appointed by former president Rawlings in 1995.

From May 25, 2016, till June 25, 2016, the then Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Theodora Woode was outside the country on official duties and so William Atuguba was made the acting Chief Justice.

He also acted as Chief Justice from February 2017 prior to the retirement of Georgina Theodora Wood on 8 June 2017 until 19 June 2017 when Sophia Akuffo was sworn in by President Akufo-Addo as the new Chief Justice.

William Atuguba is one of the longest-serving members of the Supreme Court of Ghana being a judge for 44 years. He served as a Supreme Court Judge for 23 years: from 1995 to 2018.
He was for a period, the most senior judge in the Supreme Court.

About Justice William Atuguba

William Atuguba was a prosecutor, state attorney, and Ghana’s former Justice of the Supreme Court. He was enrolled as a magistrate on 3 October 1974 and appointed by former president Rawlings in 1995.

From May 25, 2016, till June 25, 2016, the then Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Theodora Woode was outside the country on official duties and so William Atuguba was made the acting Chief Justice.

He also acted as Chief Justice from February 2017 prior to the retirement of Georgina Theodora Wood on 8 June 2017 until 19 June 2017 when Sophia Akuffo was sworn in by President Akufo-Addo as the new Chief Justice.

William Atuguba is one of the longest-serving members of the Supreme Court of Ghana being a judge for 44 years. He served as a Supreme Court Judge for 23 years: from 1995 to 2018.

He was for a period, the most senior judge in the Supreme Court.

myjoyonline.com

About Adoa News

Check Also

I promise you a leaner government – Mahama

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has promised Ghanaians to have a …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *