Investigative Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas is insisting Charles Bissue who was Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining abused his office.
This is despite Mr Bissue’s strong denial of any wrongdoing as captured in Anas’ latest investigative piece dubbed ‘Galamsey Fraud.’
Mr. Bissue in a statement on Friday night said he was stepping aside in order not to compromise the work of the Committee.
Bissue also called for investigations into the allegations of corruption, criminality and misconduct levelled against him in the documentary, insisting that he’s innocent.
“I have taken notice of the contents of the latest documentary by Tiger Eye P.I., titled ‘Galamsey Fraud.’ I would like to state, at the very outset, that I am innocent of the allegations levelled against me in the documentary, as I was not and have not been engaged in any acts of corruption, criminality or misconduct,” he said in a statement.
“I have informed the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Chairperson of the IMCIM, of my decision to step aside from my position as Secretary to the Committee, pending an investigation into the allegations,” he added.
But Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in a Facebook post, said Mr Bissue, based on hard evidence, abused his office, breached his fiduciary duties, and engaged in bribery and corruption.
According to Mr. Anas’ post, Mr. Bissue was paid a total of thirty-five thousand cedis in cash; which induced Mr. Bissue to side-step due process for acquiring mining license.
Below is Anas’ Facebook post
This is what we found in Galamsey Fraud Part 1
We found Mr Bissiw abusing his office, breaching his fiduciary duties, engaging in bribery and corruption. These were uncovered by way of hard facts, captured on audio/visual recording, and electronic correspondence.
Mr Andy Owusu, a link man for Mr Bissiw charged us fifty thousand cedis (GH¢ 50,000.00) to get us through to him. 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 (15,000.00).
Mr Andy Owusu was also the one who told us how much Mr Bissiw was ready to accept to fast track the process for us. Mr Andy Owusu also linked us to “school boy” a national security operative for our safety at the illegal mining site.
My outfit, ORR Resource Enterprise, 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.
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 Bissiw 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 Bissiw took care of all of that for ORR.
We have paid Mr Bissiw a total of thirty five thousand cedis (GH¢35,000.00) in cash. Our first payment of fifteen thousand cedis (GH¢15,000.00) was made on 22nd January, 2019, through Mr Andy Owusu IMCIM near Jubilee House. We made a second payment of ten thousand cedis (GH¢10,000.00) on 30th of January, 2019 at the same place. The last payment was on 8th of February 2019. We paid Mr Bissiw ten thousand cedis (GH¢ 10,000.00).
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. We are of the considered opinion that the neglect and or failure to make a determination as to whether we were representatives of the owner was as a result of the money we paid to Mr. Bissiw.