Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Angry residents of Nyinahin in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region yesterday prevented Ibrahim Mahama, younger brother of former President John Mahama, from going to a bauxite concession granted by his brother’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) congress before it left office.
Heavy duty mining equipment of Engineers and Planners – Ibrahim’s company - were stopped from entering the forest for any mining operation.
The equipment were being taken to the area with intent to mine the bauxite but the District Assembly prevented the drivers from entering the forest.
The District Chief Executive, Williams Darko, reportedly insisted that he was not aware of any permit issued to Exton Cubic Group Limited, owned by Ibrahim Mahama, to mine bauxite and has therefore, prevented the heavy duty machines from entering the forest located near the capital, Nyinahin.
The Forestry Commission has reportedly given Exton Cubic Group Limited the go-ahead to mine bauxite in the Ashanti Region.
Ibrahim’s company was reportedly granted the forest entry permit recently per a letter signed by the commission’s Chief Executive, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, aka Sir John.
According to the permit issued on June 20, 2017, Exton Cubic Group’s activities would be restricted to the Tano Offin Forest Reserve in areas like Kyirayaso, Kyekyewere and Mpasaso.
It is turning out that the Forestry Commission’s letter authorizing Ibrahim’s company to operate was copied to the Atwima Nwabiagya District Assembly which capital is Nkawie, instead of the Atwima Mponua District Assembly at Nyinahin.
As a result, the DCE for Atwima Mponua, who should have been copied, is insisting that he would not allow Exton Cubic Group Limited to start work, especially in view of the recent ban on galamsey and indiscriminate mining.
Sources say at about 4:30 pm on Sunday, four heavy trucks with the inscription of Engineers and Planners besieged the Nyinahin town and were preparing to enter the Kyekyewere Forest reserve for bauxite prospecting when the DCE stepped in with the police.
Ibrahim’s team told the authorities in the district that they had the permit to operate but the DCE said the assembly had no knowledge of the permit and therefore the police reportedly impounded the heavy duty machines, pending further investigations.
In the original permit copied to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Minister of Environment and Science and other top officers at the Forestry Services Division, the Forestry Commission said Exton Cubic Group Limited was expected to follow strictly environmental guidelines approved for mining in the country.
“The liaison group comprising representatives from relevant state regulatory institutions will monitor, evaluate and submit regular reports on the performance of the company to heads of the various member institutions of the liaison group, including the Forestry Commission,” indicated the permit.
It said the processing fee for Exton Cubic Group Limited is GH¢10,000 per annum and the entry permit was valid for two years.
Already, firebrand Brong-Ahafo Regional Youth Organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame Baffoe aka Abronye DC, has filed a suit against Ibrahim to strip him of the bauxite concession granted to him a few days to the exit of his brother from power.
The suit also cited the Attorney General as a respondent and Abronye wants the Supreme Court to declare that the “mining lease agreement between then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and the Exton Cubic Group Limited required Parliamentary ratification under Section 5 (4) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703.”
The then NDC government, acting through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, on December 29, 2016 entered into an agreement and granted Exton Cubic Group Limited mining leases to mine bauxite in different concessions.
Abronye DC wants an order setting aside the mining lease agreements because it is violating Section 5 (4) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, Act 703.
He is seeking a perpetual injunction restraining Exton Cubic and its assigns from prospecting, exploiting or mining bauxite in Ghana pursuant to the mining lease agreements being ratified by parliament.
Recently, an Economic Advisor at the Office of Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, Gideon Boako, revealed how about 58% of Ghana’s bauxite reserves was sold to Ibrahim Mahama before his brother’s government exited power in January this year.
“They sold 58 percent on 29th December 2016 when they were leaving office. The NDC government sold 58 percent of our bauxite concession to the former president’s brother. The one they sold to him, was it possible to mine or not? They should stop this argument,” Gideon Boako asked on Citi FM.
Nii Osah Mills confirmed yesterday that the Mahama regime signed off the bauxite deal to Ibrahim’s company.
Documents sighted by DAILY GUIDE showed that there were two concessions involved, and all were signed on the same date.
The first document shows that the NDC government gave the bauxite mining lease to Exton Cubic Group Limited for 22 years and in the other lease for the same mineral resource, the company was given 18 years lease.
It is unclear the locations of the concessions but DAILY GUIDE understands they are all in the area bordering Central and Western Regions and possibly the Eastern Region.