The Three-member Committee appointed by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to independently investigate the event of 20th January at Appiatse, a mining community in Bogoso in the Westen region of Ghana that led to the death of some 13 persons including three children on 1st February presented a preliminary report to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Lawyer Samuel Abdulai Jinapor in Accra.
The presentation follows an earlier preliminary Report presented by the Minerals Commission, the regulator of the mining sector, following the incident.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Benjamin Aryee, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission said the Minerals Commission carried out its investigations, in accordance with the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2177).
It considered the extent to which those involved complied or failed to comply with regulations relating to the conveyance, storage, possession, manufacture, and use of explosives for mining, quarrying, and civil works.
According to Mr. Aryee, the Committee visited the Appiatse community and had interviews with the chiefs and people of the community including eyewitnesses.
The Committee also interviewed those who were involved in the incident including the truck driver, the police escort, the driver of the escort vehicle, among others. Also interviewed were officials of the companies involved in the transportation, including Maxam Ghana Limited, where the explosives were being transported from.
Additionally, the Committee inspected and reviewed the log books of Maxam and the various police stations.
Mr. Aryee was optimistic said he believes that, with the information gathered by the Committee, and the documents reviewed, the Report fairly represents the facts leading to the incident.
Based on those facts, the Committee has made some recommendations for the consideration of the Minister.
The sector Minister assured the Committe that the Report will be reviewed in earnest with the necessary accompanied recommendations implemented.
“The Terms of Reference of the Committee was limited to compliance with mining regulations,” Laywer Jinapor revealed.
He stressed that the investigations and the Report, are without prejudice to any criminal culpability that may arise from the investigations being undertaken by the security agencies, nor does it constitute a bar to any civil liability that may arise expressing confidence in the Security Services to carry out criminal investigations and take appropriate actions.
Lawyer Jinapor also said in addition to rebuilding the community, the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is committed to ensuring that anyone found culpable is made to face the full rigours of the law. He assured that Government will take immediate action on the Report.
The other members of the Committee were Mr. Peter Awuah, the Technical Director on Mines at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and Mr. Cletus Alengah, a Lawyer and Special Assistant to the Minister.
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