A Presidential Staffer, Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue who has been accused of working against the country’s efforts to end illegal mining has been interrogated by officials of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police Service.
In a documentary produced by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Mr Bissue, who is also the Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), was seen on video taking money to allegedly facilitate for an unlicensed company seeking to circumvent laid-down processes to be given clearance for its mining operations.
The undercover investigator, in his latest piece, captured on video some persons tasked with the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, receiving various sums of money, ostensibly to facilitate the acquisition of mining licences.
The Director-General of the CID, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, told the Daily Graphic that Mr. Bissue was invited for questioning in connection with the Anas galamsey video and he obliged.
She declined to give further details but said all other actors in the exposé were being investigated.
No one above the law
Meanwhile, Mr Bissue confirmed on his social media handle (Facebook) that he was at the CID Headquarters following an invitation to assist in investigations.
“I have subjected myself to the laws of Ghana, and since no one is above the law, I urge Tiger Eye PI and Anas to provide the CID with the raw, unedited footages, so that the good people of Ghana can have the benefit of knowing the truth,” he wrote.
“On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the Tiger Eye PI aired a documentary entitled ‘Galamsey Fraud’, alleging a case of bribery and corruption to my person, Charles Bissue,” he added.
Mr Bissue has denied any wrongdoing and given an assurance of his preparedness to avail himself to the investigative process.
“I reiterate that in the course of my duty as the Secretary to the IMCIM, I have never received any money as consideration to render a service as a public officer,” he stated.
He expressed his appreciation for the “solidarity demonstrated by friends and acquaintances from all walks of life who believe in my integrity and can attest to my values and principles”.
Meanwhile, Mr Anas has told the Daily Graphic in an interview that his team submitted a petition to the Office of the Special Prosecutor on February 27, 2019 to which it attached the unedited videos.
“For the record, the much-touted raw footage has already been submitted to the Office of the Special Prosecutor by Tiger Eye. That is where the action is,” he said, and wondered if the two bodies were conducting parallel investigations.
The complaint against Mr. Bissue, dated February 27, 2019, was received at the Office of the Special Prosecutor on February 28, 2019.
Anas said, indeed, a letter dated March 11, 2019, dispatched to Tiger Eye on March 14, 2019 and signed by the Special Prosecutor himself invited Tiger Eye to submit a formal complainant and a witness statement to the investigators.
He said the Special Prosecutor made it clear to the investigative team that the suspects would have the right to confront their accusers, should that become necessary, during the course of the investigations.
“The Special Prosecutor had earlier, in the said letter, indicated that his office was ready, able and willing to commence investigations into the allegations made in our complaint against Mr Bissue and Mr Thomas Andy Owusu for any or all suspected corruption-related offenses after it had studied the information provided in our complaint,” Mr Anas explained.