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