A witness in the trial of Chinese national and illegal mining kingpin, En Huang, aka Aisha Huang, yesterday told an Accra High Court that the notoriety of the Chinese lady in undertaking illegal mining, otherwise known as galamsey, emboldened others to encroach on a concession and mine illegally.
The witness, Nana Sarfo Prempeh, who is a chief and the Director of Volta Resources Limited (VRL), told the court that there are a number of encroachers who continue to follow the example of Aisha Huang and are illegally mining on the company’s concession.
“Prior to the appearance of Ms. Aisha Huang, the company was able to manage the encroachment problems on the concession of Volta Resources. But due to her notoriety that has been published in the media whereby the name of Bepotenten has been mentioned, has sought to attract illegal miners to constantly attempt to evade the concession,” the witness told the court.
Nana Prempeh was responding to questions by Miracle Attachey, counsel for Aisha Huang who accused the witness of engaging in illegal mining which led to his arrest.
The lawyer had earlier put it to the witness that he never submitted any petitions or letters against alleged galamsey activities of Aisha Huang as he previously told the court, and that a suit initiated by him and his company against Aisha were only written after the witness was arrested.
“My Lady, first I wish to inform the court that I have never been arrested in my life. And that from the period of 2015 to 2017, my company Volta Resources was a primary victim of the illegal mining activities of Ms. Aisha Huang. I made several efforts to appeal to various law enforcement authorities to assist us to protect our investment and as a company we had fiduciary duty to protect our investment, and that was exactly what we did,” the witness responded.
“These mining activities are still ongoing as they have always been because you, Nana Sarfo Prempeh, with your manager Edward Koranteng are enablers of these activities. I put that to you,” the lawyer further alleged.
“My Lady, I disagree with what the defence just said. Volta Resources is the legal owner of a mining concession. It has all the prerogatives to apply for a mining lease if it wishes to do so. It is those without legal rights to a mining concession like Ms. Aisha Huang who evade other people’s mining concessions to engage in illegal mining activities,” the witness replied.
“I put it to you that this your narrative of the accused employing people to illegally mine on your Nembreso concession is a falsehood as she has never engaged anyone to work on any concession,” the lawyer added.
“There is incontrovertible evidence that Ms. Aisha Huang has been engaged in illegal mining on concession of Volta Resources Limited,” Nana Prempeh responded.
He also denied accusations from the defence lawyer that he has not been truthful to the court, indicating that it was through the diligent pursuit of VRL that Aisha Huang’s workers were arrested for illegal mining.
He added that, “Ms. Aisha Huang being here today is proof that the evidence I have tendered and spoken to is nothing but the truth.”
BY Gibril Abdul Razak