A Ghanaian, Arnold Agbodo has dragged the Minister for Science and Environment, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, who is also the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining the to the Commission on Human Rights And Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), for Conflict of Interest and Abuse of Office.
Agbodo’s petition sought to say that the Professor was using his office to take over mining concessions that should have been released to other citizens and by so doing depriving the state of the needed revenue due to the non-payment of fees that is required to pay to the state.
Agbodo said in his petition that the fact that after Frimpong Boateng relinquished three concessions, and is still holding and reserving them in his (Prof. Boateng’s) company name, is a situation which is causing the state to lose of $250,000 in mineral rights fees. He also affirmed in paragraph 13, 14 and 15 of the petition that there is clear conflict of interest in violation of Art. 284 of the 1992 Constitution.
“Every mining company is required to be licensed by the EPA. The EPA is an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and Prof. Frimpong Boateng is the Minister in charge of this Ministry. Consequently, he will ultimately be issuing environmental permit for mineral exploration to his own company, Symphony Limited”.
Agbodo intimated in his petition that, “The name of the company could not be more apt; the whole scenario appears clearly orchestrated in a manner quite similar to a musical symphony. Here is a player in the market who also controls the regulatory levers. It gives every appearance of premeditation in his choice of portfolio.”
The petitioner also said that as Chairman of the Joint Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining, Prof Boateng has steered the task force away from visiting any of his concessions to ascertain the mining activities going on there.
The petitioner also requested the CHRAJ to ascertain from the Auditor General whether Prof Boateng declared his interest in Symphony Limited as part of his declaration of assets as an Act 286 appointee.