Former Minister for Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has disclosed that his exit from the Akufo-Addo government, was a grand scheme orchestrated by people at the Presidency; the Jubilee House, as well as some bigwigs of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Interestingly, the respected heart surgeon himself had faced accusations about his involvement in Galamsey and conflict of interest, with a Ghanaian Citizen Arnold Agbodo, dragging him to the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over his supposed 30percent interest in Symphony Limited, a company that had five concessions under strange conditions.
The company was also linked to his wife, Agnes Frimpong-Boateng and son, Jojo Frimpong-Boateng, who has since become a certified Gold buyer and seller operating a company called “The Whole of Adansi” years after pictures of him emerged on social media at a Galamsey site with trucks, generators, gold bars and rocks believe to be holding gold.
In an exclusive interview on March 10, 2023 with GBC News he recounted how members of his own political party sabotaged him internally, including persons at the Jubilee House, who were indulging in the illegal small-scale mining activities.
He intimated that the allegations of some 500 missing excavators seized from persons engaged in illegal mining activities in 2020, were untrue and made up stories by some persons in government to tarnish his reputation, in order to chase him out of office.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who was recorded in a heated argument with some party members in which the name of the then NPP General Secretary, John Buadu was mentioned as saying the galamsay was to be done to raise money into NPP coffers, disclosed that there were people in the Akufo-Addo government that wanted him out, because of his stance on illegal mining activities in the country.
Prof. Boateng disclosed that the very beginning and actions of military personnel deployed to effect the arrest of illegal miners, triggered the entire falsehood about him being responsible for the missing excavators at the time.
“The true story is that at the start of Operation Vanguard, the soldiers were supposed to arrest the excavators, but they will go into the forest and remove the control boards of the excavators and come back to report, but when they went away, the owners will come with different control boards and move the excavators away.
“So the soldiers reported that they had immobilized over 700 excavators and so we appointed someone to go round and check, but when we went round, we found only about 150 to 200 excavators, the rest had been moved away.”
He further stressed that “there was an orchestration within the party and the government to get me out and when I left galamsey activities increased. Now things are coming up, and we know those who are doing galamsey, even within the party and even people at the Jubilee House.”
The entire ‘missing excavators’ controversy began in 2020 when Prof. Boateng, the then Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said most of the excavators seized from illegal miners had gone missing.
He subsequently wrote a letter to the Police CID to investigate Horace Ekow Ewusi, then suspended First Vice Chairman of the governing NPP in the Central region, , over his alleged involvement in the missing earth-moving equipment.
Ekow Ewusi, was contracted by the government at the time to cart excavators and other vehicles and pieces of equipment seized by the anti-illegal mining task force to designated areas for safekeeping.
Symphony Ltd, a company incorporated in 1990 is authorized to carry on business as general merchants and manufacturer’s representatives, and not mining, but has gone beyond to obtain five concessions. Professor Boateng in January 2014, sold 60,000 shares of the company representing 30percent stake to one Yaw Badu.
His wife, Agnes Frimpong-Boateng, also on the same day transferred a total of 80,000 representing 40percent of the issued shares to the same Yaw Badu. Documents in our possession indicate that the company was granted five prospecting licenses in the Gyapekrom area, namely; Nwenem, Asiri, Gyapekrom, Baabiareneha and Adomesu..
On November 14 2014, Prof Frimpong Boateng, in his capacity as Director of Symphony Limited, wrote to notify the Minerals Commission that Symphony Limited was shedding three of its five concessions and intended to maintain only Baabiareneha and Adomesu.
On April 15, 2015 the Commission wrote to accept Symphony’s decision to drop the three prospecting licenses. Under our mining laws, once a license is shed it is free and allotted to any mining company that applies to acquire it on a first come first served basis.
In this particular case, however, the three prospecting licenses dropped by Symphony are still being reserved for the company.
Not only is there no basis in law for this, but what this means is that because of this, the state is losing revenue of about $250,000 (quarter of a million dollars) being a conservative estimate of payment of annual mineral right fees for the three reserved PLs for the four years commencing 2015 to date.
The annual mineral right fee for the Adomesu and Baabiaraneha licenses are US$18,048 and US$23,968 respectively. As if, all this was not egregious enough, the two licenses that Symphony retained both expired in 2017 after Symphony failed to pay the annual mineral right fee on time.
Under the Minerals and Mining Licensing Regulations, Symphony is required to pay the annual fee not later than 90 days before the expiration of the mineral right, otherwise the PL could be suspended or terminated. In October 2017, a letter emanating from the Commission signed on behalf of the CEO notified Symphony that both licenses had expired on March 22, 2017.
Under the law therefore the annual renewal fee was due in December 2016! These two licenses should have been forfeited if the law was applied to Symphony as it had been applied to all mining entities.
It should not escape anyone that throughout this period, Prof Frimpong Boateng has been the Minister of Science, Technology, Environment and Innovation and therefore the EPA which overseas and regulates the mining industry in conjunction with the Minerals Commission was under his Ministry.
CHRAJ was later accused of delaying in handling the petition filed against Prof Frimpong Boateng on issues of causing financial loss to the state and conflict of interest.
Peacefmonline, quoted a document dated 6th February 2019, in a response from the CHRAJ acknowledging the receipt of the Petitioner two years ago. However, according to Arnold Agbodo, nothing has been done by the Commissioner after that letter from their office.
The Petitioner had accused the defendant who was the former Minister of Environment, Science and Technology Innovation, Prof Frimpong Boateng and his wife of conniving to cause financial loss to the state.
According to the petition, Prof Frimpong–Boateng and his wife Agnes Frimpong Boateng were the first Directors of Symphony Limited, a limited liability Company incorporated in February 1990 with an authorized business of General Merchants, Trading as Importers and Exporters of General Goods, Manufacturers Representatives and farming.
Sometime in January 2014, Prof Frimpong-Boateng transferred 60, 000 shares representing 30% of the shareholding of the company to one Yaw Badu and Agness Frimpong–Boateng also transferred 40,000 shares to the said Yaw Badu representing 20% of the shareholding of the company, thereby making Yaw Badu the majority shareholder in the company.
The Petition further stated that Symphony Limited has persistently failed or refused to pay the state the statutory mineral fee for the concessions it holds notwithstanding several demands made to do so.
Arnold Agbodo mentioned in his [petition that Prof Frimpong Boateng and his wife after claiming to have resigned as Directors of the company, on 10th January, 2014 later in a letter dated 20th November 2014 wrote to Minerals Commission to notify the Commission that Symphony Limited was shedding three of its five concessions.
Even though Symphony Limited has indicated that it is no longer interested in three mining concessions namely; Nwenem, Asiri and Gyapekrom, these areas are still held in the name of Symphony contrary to the rules governing the grant and holding of concessions in Ghana costing the state about $250,000 annually which is the estimated annual mineral right fees which would have accrued to the state.
The petitioners in an interview with Sampson Kwame Nyamekye in Kumasi appealed to the CHRAJ to fast truck the process so that the defendant can be brought to book when found guilty.
“No 500 excavators went messing, it was somebody who threw that into the media space to tag something of Frimpong Boateng. What am I doing with 500 excavators?
“The true story is that, at the start of Operation Vanguard thing, the soldiers were supposed to arrest the excavators.
“So, they go into the forest where they’re doing the mining and remove the control board. So, if they remove 20 control boards today, they report that they’ve mobilized 20 control boards.
“But then when you go away, then they bring new control boards and fix them and then off they go. So, we got the report that they had immobilized over 750 excavators so we appointed somebody to go around and check.
“When we went round, I think we got about 150, 200 that you could see. The rest had either been given to the owners or put in extra parts and moved away.
“And somebody put it out there, Frimpong Boateng has taken 500 excavators, what am I going to do with them?
“There was an orchestrating scheme even within the party and government to get you out.
“Look, why is it that when I left now everybody is in the forest? Other times, you dare not enter the forest.
“But let me tell you, I did not take one excavator for anything and they know the truth. Now things are coming up, we know those who are behind it and the party people who are there.
“People in government including Jubilee House are doing galamsey even now,” Professor Frimpong Boateng recounted.