Cross examination of Police Investigator in charge of the case involving 29 foreigners facing trial in court for illegally mining in Forest Reserve in Ghana ,has ended after two days in the Witness box.
Sargent Martin Benson Gyamfi,an Investigator with the Criminal Investigation Department of the Eastern regional Police Command,told the court Thursday that,police investigation confirms that,the accused persons were illegally mining in the Atewa Forest Reserves during their arrest contrary to claims by defense counsel that the accused persons were in the forest for game.
The Witness had earlier told the Court that,the accused persons lied to Police about their their true nationality until Consular of Niger together with Police and defense Counsel visited the accused person at the Koforidua Prison.
According to Sargent Gyamfi ,out of the 29 accused persons, 25 were identified to be Nigeriens,with the four others ,Amadua Basar ,Bubu Jata – Karim Sibir, Mama Kete , from Togo, Burkina Faso,Mali and Guinea Conakry respectively .
The Prosecution witness tendered in pictures and Videos captured by the Operation team during arrest of the accused persons and Crime scene photos captured by Police as exhibits, even though Lawyer for the accused persons raised objection to the exhibits doubting its credibility ,the objection was overruled .
The Case has been adjourned to 30th, March,2017.
Lawyer for the accused persons at the previous hearing on February 20,2017 told court that ,his clients traveled all the way from their countries to hunt for game refuting Charges of illegal mining in the forest reserve argued that ,it is absolute incorrect for his clients to be accused of engaging in illegal mining in the Atiwa Forest reserve hence challenging the exhibits which are axe ,sophisticated computerized equipment use to detect gold, and other portable equipment tendered in as evidence retrieved from the 29 accused persons in the forest .
The 29 accused persons were arrested on January 26 ,2017 at the Atewa Forest reserve in the Eastern region of Ghana for allegedly mining are ;Mohammed Omar, Mohammed Haruna, Amadu Basar, Dauda Zinjima ,Amar Mohamed, Kassin Bramah, Mahamudu Arubakari and Sitah Zibo.The others are Hamidu Amadu, Musah Iddrisu, Munkaila Bomboro , Omaru Sulemana ,Addul M. Hudu, Zibo Alibu,Haruna Mumuni, Abdulai K. Kibo, Bukari Musah, Musah Ahmed and Sulley Aadum.
The rest are Munkaila Salifu, Yakuba Adamu, Yao Denay, Fuseini Amadu, Gubar Jatah, Barim Sribil, Hamza Gudiah Nameh Keita and Jibril Amidu.
Each of the accused persons is facing three counts of conspiracy to mine without license, mining without license and trespass of forest reserve . They have however pleaded not guilty.
The lead Counsel for the state,Deputy Regional state Attorney,Cyril Boateng Keteku ,is impressed with the Progress of the case so far.