The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah has seized heavy duty equipment belonging to Engineers and Planners.
According to him, he will only release the equipment if the company belonging to the CEO of Engineers and Planners, Mr Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Mahama is able to provide him with documents granting the company permission to work at a bauxite concession at Nyinahim in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
The erstwhile Mahama government, acting through then Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Nii Osah Mills, on December 29, 2016, entered into and granted Exton Cubic Group Limited mining leases to mine bauxite in different concessions for 21 and 18 years respectively.
The company then outsourced the prospecting of the site to Mr Mahama’s company but the Regional Minister prevented the drivers of the vehicles from entering the area.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme yesterday, Mr Osei-Mensah said they have seized the vehicles because they did not have any permit to operate on the concession.
Though they claimed they had permission from the Minister of Lands and Water Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu and the Forestry Commission, he said he was yet to see documents to that effect.
“I don’t work with verbal communications, I need documents and until then, I will not release the machines,” he stressed.
“I want to get the documents, commit the Lands Minister so that if something happens, he [Amewu] will be blamed,” he added.
Mr Osei-Mensah warned such permission being given to mining companies would affect the fight against illegal mining launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In a rebuttal, Communications Director of Engineers and Planners, Mr Samuel Genfi expressed shock at the conduct of the Ashanti Regional Minister.
He explained that they have satisfied all requirements backed by law since May 13, 2013 thus Mr Osei-Mensah cannot claim not to know anything about it.
“There is no justifiable cause to detain those machines. The vehicles have been detained without any lawful reason,” he added.