Ellembelle  District Assembly reacts to Magistrate’s claim

Ellembelle  District Assembly reacts to Magistrate’s claim

● The Assembly says the relocation had nothin to do with illegal mining

The Ellembelle  District  Assembly in  the Western Region has refuted claims that  the District Magistrate, Madam French AwoAmissah, is relocating from her official bungalow due to illegal mining within the premises.

In a letter dated July 29, 2022 and copied to  the  Regional Administrative Officer of  Judiciary Service of Ghana, Sekondi,  the District Chief Executive, Mr Kwasi Bonzoh stated  that the decision of the magistrate to  relocate had nothing to do with the  threat to her safety, security and  health, as a result of the alleged illegal mining.

He added: “she is only using that as a ploy  to move out of her official residence so she can continue enjoying her personal  benefit of accommodation/rent allowance from the Judicial Service which she has  been directed to forfeit as long as she continues to live in a government bungalow. 

“It is, therefore, not surprising to us that the Magistrate did not even deem it  necessary to inform us of her decision to relocate until the District Chief  Executive (DCE) called her personally on Wednesday, July 27,2022, around 6:30 pm,  after receiving the letter from the Regional Administrative Officer of the  Judicial Service of Ghana.” 

MrBonzoh argued that before Ms Amissah decided  to relocate, there was  absolutely no threat to her life and safety and that as  Chairman of the District Security Committee (DISEC), he knew  she had  two police guards, one personal bodyguard and another residence guard.

He said it was, therefore, deceptive for the Magistrate to cite her personal safety and security as reasons for relocating. 

He again stated “We find the attempt by the Magistrate to link her decision to move out of her  bungalow to the purported ongoing galamseyas very disingenuous.  This is because currently there is no ongoing illegal mining behind her residence as she wants the world to believe.” 

Mr Bonzoh  believed  that the District Magistrate Court should be one of the foremost institutions within Ellembelle to  prove the relentless efforts in the fight against galamsey in the last three  years.

He recalled that in February 2021, DISEC gathered  intelligence on illegal mining atTelekuBokazo which extended to the backyard of the bungalow jointly occupied  by the Esiama Divisional Police Commander and the Magistrate of the Nkroful  District Court.

He said,  DISEC convened a  meeting on March  5,  2021, with stakeholders and immediately conducted  an operation  at the  site  leading to arrest of  one  Mr. Stephen Miah and two  others on March 22,2021.

The perpetrators pleaded not guilty and were granted bail and the case was adjourned to 7th  April, 2021.

MrBonzo  said,  the Assembly had  taken steps to stop illegal mining  in the District.

“The very Magistrate  of the Nkroful District Court who is claiming that the galamsey activities  ongoing poses a great threat to her life is the same person who has been  frustrating the Assembly’s fight against galamsey by treating galamseyers with  kids gloves,” he added.

MrBonzohsaid that, on Monday, April 4, 2022, the District Magistrate  overturned her earlier conviction and ordered that the accused should be freed.

From Clement Adzei Boye, Takoradi

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