General News of Tuesday, 23 July 2019
A report by the CID exonerating Charles O. Bissue, who served as secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), in the Anas and his Tiger Eye PI galamsey expose’, has riled Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu.
Mr. Amidu has said his office is investigating the case and has written to the CID to stop a parallel investigation, but said the police refused and came out with its report. In spite of that, he said he was going ahead with his investigation, adding “let’s see who will stop me.”
According to the CID report, there was no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Bissue, a presidential staffer who stepped aside to avail himself for investigations after the Anas-Tiger Eye PI documentary which exposed alleged corruption in the activities of IMCIM.
The Anas documentary had said the secretary was involved in ‘shady’ deals to facilitate processes for a mining firm called ORR Resource Enterprise but the law firm, Ampofo, Oppong & Associates, representing Mr. Bissue, said yesterday that the CID report did not find any wrongdoing against their client, insisting that Mr. Bissue was not found to be culpable for any offence per the report.
Mr. Amidu has entered the fray saying it is the Office of the Special Prosecutor that is supposed to investigate the issue and not the police, saying “I’ve told you I wrote to the Director-General, CID, that it wasn’t her jurisdiction.”
“We commenced investigations but before I could invite the suspect, I read a newspaper publication in which Charles Bissue said that the CID was investigating his case and that the complainant should go there and make their evidence. So, I wrote to the Director-General of the CID to tell her that the offences of corruption have been apportioned to the Office of the Special Prosecutor. We have been petitioned; we have indicated that we are going to begin investigations. There shouldn’t be duplicity of our efforts, so she should stop it,” he said on Citi FM in Accra yesterday.
He said the CID boss wrote back to say that she had been instructed by the Minister of Environment, who is the chairman of that organisation (IMCIM) and the Ministry for the Interior to investigate and went ahead to do it, adding “I wrote objecting very strongly and then I began the investigations.”
He said he took a statement from Mr. Bissue and all those involved in the documentary, including the complainant and said there was a video involved but he has personally not watched it because he is not the investigator, adding “I don’t know what was written to the investigators and the docket hasn’t reached where it will come to me.”
“There are some knotty points which have to be trashed out before the docket will be brought to us because the complainant has given a statement. Mr Anas AremeyawAnas sent us a letter a few days ago that he wanted to be a witness and I told him I couldn’t guarantee the conditions under which he wanted to be a witness but he could bring a written statement. He came for statement forms. He is to submit them. When all that is done – because the complainant and the suspects have all given evidence, the material which is the video is there, I don’t know what it says – [and] when we’ve gone through that process, we shall make a decision whether there’s corruption offence committed or not.”
Mr. Amidu added, “So, the case is with us. I’ve told the CID that they don’t have jurisdiction. I’ve written to the Minister for the Interior; I’ve copied the Jubilee House and said that we cannot concurrently investigate it. You either want to set up an office to investigate corruption or when it suits you, you send it to the police. So, the matter is being investigated by us. When the docket is brought up, we shall make a decision whether or not there’s a case to answer.”
He imputed political motives in his work when he said, “People choose to interfere with my corruption investigations when they think it doesn’t suit them but we have to do professional work – impartially. I have been brought here to do a job and that’s what I’m going to do.”