Galamsey: Burning of excavators illegal – Legal Practitioner

It will be illegal for the government to set ablaze the excavators that are seized from illegal small scale miners (galamsey) in the country, a private legal practitioner Mr Bobby Banson has said.

He said this on the Key Points programme hosted by Abena Tabi on TV3 Saturday May 1.

Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul has stated that all the seized galamsey equipment including excavators will be destroyed on site by the military officers deployed to the galamsey areas.

He said no gadget will be returned to Accra.

 “We are not seizing any equipment, no equipment will be returned home, they will all be destroyed on site. No excavator, nothing will come back home,” he said at a press conference in Accra on Friday April 30.

But Mr Banson said this “will be illegal.”

He further suggested that “The owners of these excavators arrest them and give them to the Attorney General for prosecution.”

About 200 officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) on Wednesday morning began an operation to forcefully remove all persons and logistics involved in illegal mining on the country’s river bodies.

The exercise began on River Pra in the Western and Central regions.

This, according to the Minister of Information, is in furtherance of the resolutions of the final communique issued after the two-day Stakeholder Dialogue on Small Scale Mining.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, April 28, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the move is “to ensure that mining within water bodies is immediately stopped”.

He further indicated that the Ministry of Defence and GAF will provide a detailed brief on the developments and the sustainability efforts on Friday, April 30.

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Mr Dominic Nitiwul who is also lawmaker for Bimbila said nobody should attempt to go back to the galamsey areas after the swoop by the men in uniform.

“When they swoop pass the place there will be constant monitoring of what has been done by Ghana Armed Forces and so don’t think you will go back,” he said.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana