Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has disclosed how embattled Central Regional Vice-Chairman of the NPP, Horace Ekow Ewusi came into the picture for the fight against illegal mining popularly referred to as galamsey.
In an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said, the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Illegal Mining, the then secretary, Charles Bissue now suspended, introduced Mr. Ewusi as a party who could help them resolve the issue of storage of seized excavators.
He explained that impounded excavators from galamsey operators was a major issue since they did not have a central area to keep them.
He noted that Charles Bissue averred that Mr. Ewusi was an auctioneer who had depots scattered in three separate areas namely; Industrial Area, Abelemkpe and Oyarifa.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng further intimated that there was the need to keep the impounded machines at a centralized location in Accra hence the resolve of the Secretariat to employ the services of the NPP Deputy Chairman of the Central region.
He, however, clarified that Mr. Ewusi was not working in any capacity with Operation Vanguard as was being speculated.
Additionally, he stated that Ekow Ewusi’s engagement with the IMCIM got terminated after they were bailed by the Aviation Ministry. He noted that the ministry gave his outfit a centralized depot where they could keep the confiscated excavators.
“…he was introduced to the IMCIM Secretariat by Mr. Charles Bissue, the secretary as an auctioneer who has three depots in the Industrial Area in Accra, Abelemkpe and Oyarifa.
“Initially, it was a big problem, the excavators were impounded and had to be brought to Accra and kept safely so we were using these three areas.
“We’ve now found an area; we’ve been given a central depot by the ministry of Aviation.
“So, we have carted the excavators to that central point. So, we no longer need the depots of Ekow Ewusi and so our relationship with him terminated at that point,” he told GhanaWeb.
Horace Ekow Ewusi, now suspended from the NPP, became a subject of interest after some 500 excavators got missing from the depots.
The Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister issued a letter directing the Criminal Investigation Department to arrest and interrogate him after learning that Mr. Ewusi had sold some of the confiscated items from illegal miners.