The Chairman of the defunct Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has revealed in a damming report that Major Maxwell Adam Mahama was killed while protecting a mining concession in Denkyira Obuasi.
According to the report, Major Mahama was deployed to protect a mining concession belonging to C&J Aleska, a mining company owned by Donald Entsuah and a Turkish/Canadian partner when he met his untimely death.
Detailing how the unfortunate incident led to then Captain Mahama’s death, the report authored by Professor Frimpong-Boateng, a former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations pointed out that “During the last NDC regime, several mining companies signed MoUs with the Ghana Army that regulated the supply of security services to the mining companies,” which included C&J Aleska.
“Many Ghanaians will remember the name C&J Aleska, a mining company co-owned by Donald Entsuah and a Canadian national called Simon Ayman that caused a lot of destruction in the town then known as Denkyira Obuasi, near Diaso in the Central Region.
“These two individuals were close allies of the Mahamas and soldiers from the Ghanaian Army were providing them with protection.
“At one point, the soldiers at the site of C&J Aleska were under the command of Captain Mahama. This fine army man was killed while providing security for Donald Entsuah and his C&J Aleska,” he said.
In the report, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng mentioned that all MoUs were cancelled when the NPP took over in 2017, and C&J Aleska hired armed machomen to provide security after the death of Major Mahama.
“Residents in the communities bordering the forest reserves complained that they could not enter the forests around to ‘cut ‘woma’ [to wit pestle] to pound their fufu with. They could not go through the forest to their farms. They were beaten by Chinese who had acquired concessions from C&J Aleska,” he added.
Additionally, he mentioned that his outfit recorded a lot of complaints of abuse by Chinese miners from residents, which compelled the committee to take action.
“There were credible reports that on many occasions Chinese miners slapped Ghanaians, including women and children, with the broad side of machetes,” he stated, adding that the IMCIM organised its task force and conducted a complex operation to dislodge Donald Entsuah and his C&J Aleska from the Diaso forest.
Donald Entsuah later moved to the Ashanti Region with Heritage Imperial Company Limited, allegedly with some Chinese.
“The jubilation in the communities around the concessions was ecstatic. Naturally, Donald Entsuah and his friend were not happy with what the IMCIM did,” he said.
He said in the aftermath of these events, he was sabotaged by renowned journalist Kweku Baako (a friend to C&J Aleska), who had earlier declared his dislike for how the Professor was handling matters regarding the mining company. Professor Frimpong-Boateng claimed as a result, Mr. Baako started publishing “unsavoury” things about him.
The revelation about the slain soldier protecting galamsey site led to the dismissal of the District Chief Executive for Upper Denkyira West District, Daniel Appianing.
Appianing, who was initially suspended and later relieved from his position, had indicated in media interviews that the slain soldier was the leader of a military team protecting Chinese illegal miners in the community.
“There is a large number of military personnel protecting the Chinese and the lynched soldier is alleged to be part of it, in fact, he is said to be the leader… I am shocked they are not briefing you very well but rather claiming they are here to fight galamseyers,” he told Starr News.
Appianing was subsequently removed and later appointed a Deputy Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).
Meanwhile, facts before court on the incident that led to the death of Major Mahama indicate that the slain army officer was lynched by a group of residents at Denkyira Obuasi in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region in 2017.
His body was subsequently burnt by residents who claimed he was mistaken for a suspected armed robber.
The culprits were later arrested and are currently facing prosecution.
By Vincent Kubi