Pressure Movement, Occupy Ghana has challenged President Akuffo-Addo to follow the rule of law and respect the principles of constitutionalism following what it considers as a flagrant disregard of the rules against illegal mining. The President is on record to have recently endorsed the “burn-on-sight” action by the military and dared anyone peeved to go to court. But Occupy Ghana in a strongly worded statement has expressed disquiet about the President’s remarks describing them as Illegal.

“We have grave reservations over comments reportedly made by the President while delivering the keynote speech at the sod-cutting ceremony to mark the commencement of the construction of new premises for the Ghana School of Law on 26 May 2021. For such an auspicious and august event, the words of the President are likely to be immortalized and generations of law students will be referred to that speech”. said Occupy Ghana

According to Occupy Ghana, they are unable to agree with the headlining of the President’s speech endorsing the illegality and obvious breach of the rule of law by the government’s current ‘burn-on-sight’ punishment exacted on alleged illegal miners.  The group also expressed its reservations about the President’s challenge to Ghanaians who have pointed that illegality to go to court.

“The President knows that he is wrong and that Ghana law on ‘tainted property (which is what the excavators are) does not authorize the government’s ‘burn-on-sight’ policy. In each of the 2006 Minerals and Mining Act (as amended), the 2010 EOCO Act, the 2017 Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, and the 2020 Narcotics Control Commission Act, special provisions are made on how ‘tainted property’ (defined to include property that is used to commit a crime) may be seized and then confiscated to the state by court orders. The current ‘burn-on-sight’ policy would mean that all of those properties could be set on fire on sight, a clear breach of the relevant laws. No one needs a court to say that to Ghanaians. We know it. The President knows it. We challenge the President to follow the law”.

Occupy Ghana noted its unwavering campaign against illegal mining as far back as 2015 and recalls how excited it was about the Presidents war on galamsey operators referring to his declaration that he was prepared to stake his presidency on ensuring that the law was applied and complied with.  Read excerpts of the statement


Download full statement by Occupy Ghana