The military personnel seen to be providing security for Geo Professional Services, a mining company, in Tontokrom, in the Amansie District of the Ashanti Region, named Lt. Col. Sebastian Abraham Arhin, the Commanding Officer (CO) of 4 Infantry Battalion situated in the Ashanti Region, as the one who dispatched them there.
During a visit by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu to the site on May 22, 2017, as part of Ashanti Regional tour of some illegal mining sites, the Minister alleged that the military was providing cover for the company.
Mr. Amewu, who could not believe the development queried the military personnel, who disclosed that they had been dispatched there by Lt Col Sebastian Abraham Arhin, the Commanding Officer (CO) of 4 Infantry Battalion situated in the Ashanti Region.
Geo Professional Services was issued with the “stop work order” by the Inspection Directorate of the Minerals Commission on May 18 but disregarded directives and continued mining.
Owned and run by Russians and Ukrainians, the company was mining on concessions fronted by three Ghanaian companies – Kasmil Mining Company Limited, K. Afriyie and Sons Precious Metal Company and King Solomon Mining Company. Each of the three companies secured licences for 25 acres of land from the Lands Commission but according to the residents, GPS has been operating over 500 acres of land for the past 25 years and causing devastation in the area. Their activities have depleted the entire area and destroyed four rivers that have been a source of water in Tontokrom.
The company is to reclaim all destroyed lands and provide evidence to the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission of the restoration.
Mr. Amewu who was astonished by this development ordered the closure of the company and also caused the arrest of the 4 foreign managers of the company.
Military concludes probe into allegations
Meanwhile, the Military High Command has concluded investigations into these allegations following an order for a probe by Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul.
According to Citi News sources at the Defence Ministry, the report has been forwarded to the President who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.
The Minister for Defence is scheduled to address the press immediately the President is briefed on the matter and an appropriate decision taken.