Two in Court over illegal mining activities in WR

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Court
Court

Two persons, including a Reverend Minister, have appeared before an Accra High Court over illegal mining activities at Teleku-Bokazo in the Western Region.

Wilberforce Essien and Rev. Wallace Dela-Brown, who is also a retiree, have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime namely mining without a license.

Essien is facing an additional charge of contracting non-Ghanaians to undertake mining operations and services without a license granted by the Minister.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court presided over by Justice Mary Ekue Nsenkyire admitted the accused persons to bail in the sum of GHC 2-million cedis with two sureties to be justified with landed property.

The accused persons’ sureties must be Ghanaians, the court ordered.

They are also to deposit their passports at the court’s registry.

They are expected to appear again on October 2.

Prosecution led by Derrick Ackah Nyamike, an Assistant State Attorney, opposed to the grant of bail to the accused persons saying they were recently arrested and investigations were ongoing.

The Assistant State Attorney intimated that if the court was, however, minded in granting bail, the conditions should be such that would compel the accused persons to appear to stand trial.

The accused persons’ respective counsels prayed the court for bail saying they were not flight risk and that they were prepared to defend themselves in order to unravel the truth in the matter.

The facts as presented by the State are that the Police on September 8, this year had information about illegal mining activities popularly known as “galamsey” at Teleku-Bokazo, near Nkroful in the Western Region.

It said the illegal mining activities involved some Chinese nationals residing at Esiama and that the suspects were Huang Qian Li, Li Jian Wen, Huang Qian Sheng, Shi Zhong Qi and Wei Lin Xi.
They were all arrested and an excavator and other mining equipment, seized.

The State said investigations revealed that Essien was one of the Ghanaians who contracted the aforementioned accused persons currently in custody.

The prosecution said on September 16, 2022, Essien was arrested and in his caution statement, he admitted the offence and indicated that he had an agreement with the Chinese nationals to provide them with logistics and financial support to undertake mining activities on a concession belonging to Rev. Dela-Brown.

Essien further stated that Rev. Dela-Brown was the one whom he had a contract with to undertake gold mining activities on his concession.

On September 19, this year, the State said Rev. Dela-Brown was arrested and in his investigation caution statement, he told the Police that he was only mining Kaolin clay on his concession.

Rev. Dela-Brown further stated that on August 23, this year, Essien contacted him to mine on his concession and paid GHC 150,000 for the mining.

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