An economist and senior member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Pianim, has come to the defence of Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, indicating that he was not personally involved in galamsey.
He added that he would have personally reported the former minister to the police himself if substantial evidence emerged of him being linked to galamsey promotion during his tenure as chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
He made these comments while speaking to Accra-based TV3, and monitored by GhanaWeb, following the news of the former chairman of the IMCIM being invited by the Office of the Special Persecutor in connection with an ongoing investigation into corruption-related matters.
The investigation is also on the back of matters related to a report on small-scale mining activities in Ghana that was written by Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
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“If Prof Frimpong-Boateng is in any way connected to galamsey from stopping it or being eradicated, I will be the first person to take him to the police. What I am saying is that in an investigation, when I am investigating somebody, people are deemed innocent until proven guilty and somebody of his status, somewhere in the world, can be given serious recognition” he said.
The celebrated economist called for a fair investigation process, highlighting that individuals of high stature like Professor Frimpong-Boateng deserve some level of recognition and should be treated as it is being done.
“I don’t know the of information the special prosecutor had, such that whatever he [reference to Prof Frimpong-Boateng] did he may run away outside and because of that he needed to prevent, he could have taken his passport? And immediately after it was done, we should have known the charges. Are we being made to infer that he is part of the criminal gang that is promoting galamsey? Or what has he done? Or he is related to the defamation or the leaking of the report that he made to the president and the request of the president.
“If he did that, I’m not a lawyer but I have been in public life. In America, we have what we call Executive Privileges. A minister talking to his president, you cannot use that as a charge against him for defamation. Mr Gabby Otchere-Darko is an important member of the kitchen cabinet of the president, Capt. Koda is a serious member of our security services and the military.
“So, his reputation is important for the security services, if somebody is defaming him, he has the right to try to defend himself and I have no problem with that. The personality of Professor Frimpong-Boateng, this is somebody who’s been saving lives in Ghana, and I don’t think we should disgrace him in a way it seems to be done” he added.
Kwame Pianim further urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fulfil his promise of conducting a comprehensive investigation into the allegations made by Professor Frimpong-Boateng.
Pianim added that if the allegations were baseless, the president should hold a press conference to declare it as baseless.
“We need to show that we are delivering. For me, the president should rise to the occasion, and pursue the investigation that he said he was going to do. He has the report now, if it is rubbish, let him do a press conference to say my security forces have investigated all the allegations made by prf and its rubbish based on nothing” he added.
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