A resident of Asasetre in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region, Michael Budu, suspected to be an illegal miner, has been set on fire by security operatives of mining company Adamus Resources Limited for allegedly prospecting for gold illegally on their concession.
Speaking with a tad of difficulty from his sick bed, the victim narrated that he was handcuffed and beaten mercilessly “with fan belt” and cutlass after which he was drenched in diesel.
“Yesterday in the morning at about 7:30 to 8:00, I was at the site and went to fetch water. While doing that, I was arrested by land guards, handcuffed and taken back to where the Changfan is. When we got there, they started beating me with cutlass and fan belt”.
He continued: “After they have had there full, they left a pumping machine and diesel on my back and warned me not to let it fall. But the items fell and they started to beat me again. There was this one amongst them who threatened that I will be burnt together with the machine.”
Michael added that all this while he was in handcuffs with his hands at his back.
“Then that one who has been threatening me, lifted the diesel and poured it on me. But one of them collected it from him. There was this fire close by where they had dumped all our belongings into. I was asked to get close to the fire. Then that same guy went for the diesel again and poured it into the fire. Because they had pushed me close to the fire some of the flames touched my diesel drenched body and sparked fire.
“I started screaming and rolling on the floor in an attempt to quench the fire. After, the came to drag me to a nearby pit and opened the handcuffs”.
The victim narrated further that he was then given three options.
“I was asked whether I should be sent to the police station, be killed or left to die. But I couldn’t give them any answer. Then I saw them make some calls after which they came to take me to the hospital.”
When contacted, Social Responsibility Manager for Adamus Resources Limited Francis Baah confirmed the incident but insisted it was an accident.
“Last month, our security patrol team went round and saw the illegal miners. They were chased out. But three days later, they came back with a Changfan machine to mine. They were chased but one was caught. He was made to carry a water pump on their way back.
“However, it contained diesel some of which dripped on him. Unfortunately, his body caught fire by a fire close by that the illegal miners themselves have set to illuminate the place and help them work.”
According to him, the case has been reported to the police who are currently investigating it.
By Eric Yaw Adei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana