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General News of Thursday, 27 May 2021


Akufo-Addo’s comment on burning of excavators unfounded – Legal Practitioner

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

A private legal practitioner, Justice Abdullai, has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is wrong with the position he has taken on the burning of excavators seized from illegal small-scale miners (galamseyers).

He told Dzifah Bampoh on the First Take on 3FM Thursday, May 27 that the laws of Ghana do not permit anyone to mete out instant justice to wrongdoers.

“I wonder how a president will make such unfounded statement, he is so wrong on this matter. He got it absolutely wrong fundamentally."

“A person may be acting unlawfully, a person may be doing all the wrong things but the law does not give anyone whether a president, speaker or even the chief justice the right to inflict instant justice on the person."

“The law requires that that person be put before court, the equipment seized will be put before court. It is the court that has the sole responsibility in determining the faith of these persons and their equipment seized.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo minced no words in urging persons disgruntled by the renewed fight against illegal mining to go to court if they disagree.

“I know there are some who believe that the ongoing exercise of ridding our water bodies and forest zones of harmful equipment and machinery is unlawful and, in some cases, harsh,” he said.

“I strongly disagree, and I would advise those who take a contrary view to go to court to vindicate their position, if they so wish.”

President Akufo-Addo stated this on Wednesday, May 26 when he cut sod for Phase One of the 'Law Village' for the Ghana School of Law.

He said the project is long overdue and happy it is under his government “that this project is finally seeing the light of the day”.

“The entire Law Village Project will cost some $55 million with Phase One complementing the facilities of the Accra Main Campus located at Makola, at a cost of some $4 million."

“Once completed, the Law Village will boast of an additional seating capacity of 1,500 seats, a number of lecture halls, a well-resourced library, residential facilities, offices, amongst others.”

President Akufo-Addo expects the project to expand access to legal education without compromising on quality.

“As many more lawyers are trained, it is my hope that, indeed, many more of them will join the public sector to enhance the quality of legal service delivery in the country.”

On the galamsey fight, the president insisted that those without licenses but convey equipment to sites to search, prospect, explore and mine for a mineral commit grievous crimes against the law.

“Indeed, a person in possession of a valid license but undertakes mining in water bodies or mines unlawfully in protected forest zones also commits an illegality.”