A group calling itself Patriotic Advocates for Truth, Peace and Development, Ghana, has challenged undercover investigative journalist, Anas Amereyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team, to premiere an exposé they supposedly did on illegal mining during the John Mahama administration if they have nothing to hide.
The group is suspicious of something fishy compelling Anas and his team not to have shown the documentary.
The founder of the advocacy group, Isaac Kobina Ochem, told a press conference in Kumasi on Wednesday that it wondered what could inform the journalist to show a recent documentary on the same issue under this regime, yet failed to air same during the last regime.
Cataloguing a litany of allegations against Anas and his team including extortions and blackmail, the group urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to compel the institutions of State to interrogate Anas for taking Ghanaians for granted.
“His modus operandi deserves to be condemned and he must desist from tarnishing the reputation of hardworking respectable people in our society,” Mr. Ochem said.
The group cited a recent interview on an Accra-based Okay FM where the host, Kwame Nkrumah Tekesie, allegedly aired an allegation that Anas and his boss had demanded GHC 500,000.00 from a man they had successfully filmed to drop the video.
According to claims by the group, just some days ago, a supposed former member of the Tiger Eye PI team, Osei Agyemang, alleged that Anas was only interested in enriching himself through blackmail in line with his parochial interest.
“As a group, we are of the opinion that when Anas started his work in his formative years, he was patriotic and without any ill motives. However, his modus operandi in recent times has shown that the rationale for doing his investigations is to satisfy his parochial interest,” Mr. Ochem added.
Charles Bissue quits Inter-ministerial c’ttee on illegal mining after Anas exposé
The Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, [IMCIM] Mr. Charles Bissue, who was indicted in the Anas exposé on fraud in the sector, has stepped down from his post.
According to him, his decision to step aside is in the interest of transparency and accountability so as not to compromise the work of the IMCIM.
In his resignation letter, Mr. Charles Bissue stated that he is innocent of all the allegations levelled against him, and said he will be exonerated after the investigations have been concluded, adding that he will at all times avail himself to aid the investigation process.
Caught on camera
In a documentary released by Anas on Wednesday [27th February 2019], Mr. Bissue is captured accepting money ostensibly to facilitate clearance for a mining company without going through due process.
He is heard in the video instructing his subordinates to fast-track the processing of the company’s documents.
Several others connected to the work of the committee, otherwise known as the Presidential Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, are seen in the video playing “facilitating” roles at negotiated fees.
There are security operatives, informants and go-between who also offer to provide the company with information on the movements of a security task-force against illegal miners, and others who contribute to provide armed guards for the company’s concession.
All these are actions that are in sharp contrast with the objectives of the very institutions they work with or purport to work for.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining was commissioned in March 2017 by President Akufo-Addo to sanitize artisanal and small-scale mining in the country as well as develop a roadmap towards lifting an indefinite ban on small scale mining that lasted about 21 months.
Government has responded to the documentary with the explanation that the full unedited video would be investigated by the security agencies for a final decision to be taken.