Ellembelle Assembly Refutes Judicial Service Claim


DCE Kwasi Bonzoh pointing to where the galamsey activities used to take place but had stopped since June this year

THE ELLEMBELLE District Assembly in the Western Region has described the Judicial Service’s reasons to relocate the magistrate of the Nkroful District Court out of her official residence in the area, as unfounded.

According to the Judicial Service, it decided to relocate the magistrate, Her Worship Awo Amissah French, out of the government bungalow because of the activities of illegal mining, also called ‘galamsey’, at the back of the bungalow.

A statement issued by the Judicial Service and signed by its Western Regional Administrative Officer, Diana Naana Asian, alleged that the purported ongoing galamsey activities pose a threat to the safety, security and health of the magistrate.

However, addressing journalists at Nkroful, the District Assembly made it clear that the decision to relocate the magistrate had nothing to do with the purported threat to her safety and security, and as a result of illegal mining activities.

The District Chief Executive (DCE), Kwasi Bonzoh, stressed that the attempt by the magistrate to link her decision to move out of her bungalow to the purported ongoing galamsey activities, was very disingenuous.

“This is because currently, there is no ongoing illegal mining activity behind her residence as she wants the world to believe,” he revealed.

The DCE said the magistrate is allegedly using that decision as a ploy to move out so she could continue to enjoy her benefit of rent allowance from the Judicial Service, which she has been directed to forfeit as long as she continued to live in a government bungalow.

“It is, therefore, not surprising to us that the magistrate did not inform the assembly of her decision to relocate until I called her personally,” the DCE indicated.

He continued, “As chairman of the District Security Committee (DISEC), I know for a fact that the magistrate has been provided with police guards – one personal and another, resident guard.

“So it is deceptive for the magistrate to cite her personal safety and security as reasons for her relocating,” he said.

He explained that in February 2021, the assembly gathered intelligence on an illegal mining activity in Teleku-Bokazo which extended to the backyard of the bungalow jointly occupied by the Esiama Divisional Commander and the magistrate.

“We quickly convened a DISEC meeting to deal with the situation, but the chief of the area, however, indicated that the people were dredging the river as part of a bridge construction and not doing galamsey,” he stated.

He said later, a team of security personnel embarked on site operation which led to the arrest of some three persons, who were later arraigned but were granted bail.

He said if there was any institution in the district which could attest to the assembly’s relentless efforts in the fight against galamsey in the last three years, it should be the Nkroful District Magistrate Court.

“It might interest you to know that the very magistrate who is claiming that ongoing galamsey activities pose a threat to her life is the same person treating galamseyers with kids gloves when they are arrested and put before her court,” he asserted.


FROM Emmanuel Opoku, Nkroful