The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has expressed concern about the former NPP chairman, Freddy Blay’s law firm representing four Chinese standing trial for their alleged involvement in illegal mining.
Addressing Journalists in Accra, the sector minister said the move would fuel conspiracy theories against the government’s galamsey fight.
Freddie Blay defended his law firm’s representation of the Chinese nationals, saying his firm has the responsibility of representing persons they believe are innocent of charges brought against them.
The government has already faced accusations of shielding more prominent, politically-exposed persons involved in illegal small-scale mining.
“Am I concerned about that situation? Yeah, I am concerned because it has a way of fueling conspiracy theories,” Mr. Jinapor said.
“Whether rightly or wrongly or grounded or not grounded, it will fuel conspiracy theories, but it is a matter we have to live with because that is the reality. We don’t have control over it.”
Mr. Jinapor, however, assured that the government will ensure the prosecution of the culprits.
“What we have to do is to continue to prosecute these accused persons in a very spirited manner and hopefully secure convictions and secure severe punishments to them, and that will dispel all the conspiracy theories that are being bandied around.”
The minister also said the government will also make efforts to arrest financiers of illegal small-scale mining activities, popularly known as galamsey.
The government says, although most of the persons often apprehended for such acts are mostly contracted, a focus on arresting the influential persons behind them will help in tackling the menace.