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General News of Friday, 14 February 2020

Source: primenewsghana.com

Govt must publish rosewood report - Apaak

MP for Builsa South Constituency, Dr. Clement Apaak MP for Builsa South Constituency, Dr. Clement Apaak

MP for Builsa South Constituency in the Upper East Region Dr. Clement Apaak is asking the government to publish the report of investigations carried out on officials and institutions involved in the alleged illegal smuggling of rosewood.

He said it is worrisome that the public is yet to know the content of the report in the alleged illegal smuggling of rosewood.

A committee chaired by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural resources Benito Owusu was set up in August 2019 to investigate the alleged illegal felling of rosewood.

The report of the committee was presented to the Ministry in December.

Dr. Clement Apaak argues that the government must publish the report to allow Ghanaians to compare the work of the committee to that of other independent bodies.

According to him, knowing that the alleged illegality is still ongoing there is a need for the government to publish the report.

" So to think that the report has been ready and yet the good people of Ghana have not had the opportunity to see the content at the time we also know that the illegality is still been perpetuated is most worrisome, it means that government has the responsibility to make sure that the report is published regardless of their reservations about the content of the report may be. The public seeing the content of that report and comparing the outcome of the committees work to the report of the EIA which triggered the government to form the committee........."

Committee can't be trusted

Dr. Clement Apaak in August last year said the committee set up by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to investigate the allegations made in the EIA report on rosewood trade cannot be trusted.

Dr. Clement Apaak in a Facebook post said, "The committee is put together and will report to the Minister, it's chaired by one of his deputies and has members drawn from the Forestry Commission, the Ministry, Customs among others.

"How can the very same entities alleged to be deeply complicit in the ongoing illegal rosewood trade investigate a matter they are alleged to be involved in or superintending over?" he asked.

He added that "I truly cannot expect any meaningful outcome from the seven-member committee. The true motive for setting up this committee is yet to be known, but I suspect it's to cover up and or deflect attention from my petition to the Special Prosecutor."