The Ashanti regional minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has justified the seizure of trucks and equipment belonging to indigenous mining company Engineers and Planners.
Engineers and Planners – owned by Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Mahama – which has been subcontracted by Exton Cubic was prevented from accessing the Tano Forest Reserve on the orders of the regional minister.
Some staff of the company were also detained by the Police after they attempted to enter the forest reserve to mine bauxite.
The Minister is demanding evidence of permits from the company although the Forestry Commission granted Exton Cubic a Forest Entry Permit to mine in the Tano Reserve on the 20th of June this year.
Exton Cubic is of the view the Mr. Osei-Mensah’s actions are out of order and unfair. But the Minister in an interview with Starr News stated that the machines will not be released until permits are produced.
“I have not received the documents and until I receive them we are not releasing the equipment,” Mr. Osei-Mensah told Starr News’ Kweku Obeng-Adjei.
Responding to claims that he is abusing his powers and antagonizing Ibrahim Mahama, Mr. Osei-Mensah said “they can go to hell and say whatever they say.
I am dealing with the Minister of Lands and Natural resources I don’t listen to what any other person will say.”
He added that Engineers and Planners can go to court if they so wish.
Meanwhile, the Communications director of Exton Cubic Sammy Gyamfi has expressed shock at the minister’s behavior.
According to him, they will present their documents to the minister to retrieve their equipment if need be.
Source : starrfmOnline.Com