Investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has sent a strong message to his critics that no matter the threats on his life by those who disagree with him nor the noise and politics he will work to make Ghana great and strong again.
According to him, Ghana is a land that was secured with blood and toil, therefore Insults, tantrum and name-calling will always be a small price to pay in comparison.
This was in a one-minute twenty-four seconds video posted on his Facebook timeline with the caption “Happy Independence Day, Ghana. The power of the people is greater than the people in power.”
Some parts of the video capture the independence struggle of Ghana as well as some negative stories that have been published about his work including the killing of his “second in command” Ahmed Hussein-Suale has the inscription “We reject as false, the choice between our safety and our ideals.”
Anas’ work has come under strict scrutiny after the Number 12 exposé. Many including some of his colleague journalists have questioned his modus operandi, saying it is not part of the canons of journalism but he has explained that his type of journalism has always been the last resort.
In his recent exposé dubbed ‘Galamsey Fraud’ Anas figured the former Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue who was seen in the video abusing his office, breaching his fiduciary duties and engaging in bribery and corruption.
He explained that one Andy Owusu, a link man for Mr Bissue charged his team fifty thousand cedis (GH¢ 50,000.00) before meeting Mr Bissue.
“We negotiated for forty thousand Cedis (GH¢40,000.00) and he accepted it. Out of this amount he accepted part payment of fifteen thousand cedis (GH¢15,000.00),” he said.
He added that Andy Owusu told his team how much Mr Bissue was ready to accept to ‘fast track’ the process of acquiring mining license for his company ORR Resource Enterprise and then linked “school boy” a national security operative for the safety of ORR Resource Enterprise at the illegal mining site.
“ORR Resource Enterprise has presented itself as a small scale mining company, whose license to mine had expired. In spite of this expiration, we still wanted to mine. We were prepared to go by the government’s directive to be vetted and verified by the IMCIM” Anas’ post read on.
He explained that under the Road Map for the lifting of the ban on artisanal and small scale mining and the way forward prepared by the IMCIM and published in August 2018, it was agreed that miners can go back to mine when the ban was lifted only after meeting the following requirements:
*Inspection of documents-mining licenses, environmental and operating permits, Tax Identification Number (TIN), and company registration details.
*Advertisement of Vetting Exercise including informing Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM).
* Field Mapping and Verification of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Concessions; includes, mapping of boundaries of companies using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and drone technology to verify the existence and accuracy and location of each concession using GhanaPostGPS digital address system.
* Identification Cards to be issued to successful y vetted small scale mining companies.
*Signpost to be erected at the concessions of the successfully vetted companies.
“Contrary to the verification and vetting procedure as listed in paragraph 2.4 above, Mr Bissue circumvented some of the procedures for ORR Resources Enterprise for a fee. We did not go through any vetting procedure. We did not go through the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Water Resources Commission (WRC) and Forestry Commission. Mr Bissue took care of all of that for ORR,” he said.
Anas’ ORR Resources Enterprise paid Mr Bissue a total of thirty-five thousand cedis (GH¢35,000.00)in cash. Their first payment of fifteen thousand cedis (GH¢15,000.00) Anas said was made on 22nd January, 2019, through Andy Owusu, IMCIM near the Jubilee House.
“We made a second payment of ten thousand cedis (GH¢10,000.00) on 30th day of January, 2019 at the same place. The last payment was on the 8th day of February 2019. We paid Mr Bissue ten thousand cedis (GH¢ 10,000.00),” he noted.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas reiterated that officials of IMCIM did not verify our concession document and did not make any demand for a power of attorney in the absence of the bona fide owner of the concession and he believes this was as a result of money we paid to Mr Bissue.