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Minister Runs to Court Over Extortion Allegations

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has given a two-week ultimatum to two persons accusing him of extortion to retract their allegations or be prepared to meet him in court.

He noted that the allegations being peddled about him were as a result of his stance on fighting illegal chainsaw operations in the region.

The determined Minister, however, warned his detractors that his fight against illegal felling of timber in the region would continue in earnest.

Kofi Owusu and Daniel Yeboah, both workers at Dormaa Wood Village, accused the minister of extorting monies ranging from GH15,000.00 to GH60,000.00 from chainsaw operators and allowing them to work in the region. They claimed the minister’s action was frustrating their work.

But speaking to the media in Sunyani, Hon. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh did not only deny the allegations but also called on his accusers to retract their allegation of extortion or face him at the law court.

“My position has not changed. I will do whatever it takes to fight illegal timber in the Brong Ahafo Region without let or hindrance and without any discrimination, fear or favour, ill will or affection,” he noted.

It is recalled that the minister, last week Sunday led a team of police personnel to impound eight trucks loaded with lumber at Poto in the Kintampo North District heading towards Burkina Faso without permits.

This was after Hon. Asomah-Cheremeh, in a similar fashion, impounded several other trucks with illegal lumber at Banda Ahenkro four months ago.

“At Banda we impounded thirteen trucks of illegal lumber. These trucks were later handed over to the Regional Forestry Commission in Sunyani. It turned out that all the thirteen trucks came from the Dormaa Wood Village. I subsequently impounded five other trucks which were also handed over to the Regional Forestry Commission. The task force I have set up are made up of 13 people. They are all police officers and there is no civilian representation,” Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh revealed.

Source: Kofi Sarpong/ The Publisher Newspaper

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