The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has interrogated a Presidential Staffer, Mr Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue, and another for allegedly working against Ghana’s efforts to end illegal mining.
They were also afforded the opportunity to view the raw unedited video, which showed them allegedly taking bribe to promote illegal mining activities.
According to sources close to the case, the two suspects reported at the OSP in the company of their lawyers and were made to face a panel of investigators.
In a documentary produced by the ace international investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Mr Bissue, who was also Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), was seen taking money to allegedly help an unlicenced company circumvent laid down processes to be given clearance for its mining operations.
The undercover investigator, in his latest piece, captured persons tasked with fighting the galamsey menace receiving various sums of money, ostensibly to facilitate mining licences.
Owusu, an alleged link man to Bissue, allegedly charged Anas’s team GH¢50,000 for the team to get to Bissue.
The Director General of the CID, Commissioner of Police (COP) Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo Danquah, on March 17, 2019, told the Daily Graphic that Mr Bissue was invited for questioning in connection with the Anas galamsey video and he obliged.
She declined to give further details but said all other actors in the exposé were being investigated.
Meanwhile, Mr Bissue confirmed on his social media handle (Facebook) that he was at the CID Headquarters following an invitation to assist in investigations.
“I have subjected myself to the laws of Ghana and since no one is above the law, I urge Tiger Eye PI and Anas Aremeyaw Anas to provide the CID with the raw unedited footages so that the good people of Ghana can have the benefit of knowing the truth,” Mr Bissue wrote.
He added: “On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the Tiger Eye PI aired a documentary entitled “Galamsey Fraud” alleging a case of bribery and corruption to my person, Charles Bissue.”
Mr Bissue has denied wrongdoing and given assurance of his preparedness to make himself available for any investigative process.
“I reiterate that in the course of my duty as the Secretary to the IMCIM, I have never received any money as consideration to render a service as a public officer,” Mr Bissue stated.
He expressed his appreciation for the “solidarity demonstrated by friends and acquaintances from all walks of life who believe in my integrity and can attest to my values and principles”.
Meanwhile, Anas told the Daily Graphic in an interview that on February 27, 2019, his team submitted a petition to the Office of the Special Prosecutor and attached the unedited videos.
“For the records, the much-touted raw footage has already been submitted to the Office of the Special Prosecutor by Tiger Eye. That is where the action is,” Anas said, and wondered if the two bodies were conducting parallel investigations.
The complaint against Mr Bissue, dated February 27, 2019, was received at the Office of the Special Prosecutor on February 28, 2019.
Anas said a letter dated March 11, 2019 was dispatched to Tiger Eye on March 14, 2019. It was signed by the Special Prosecutor himself and it invited Tiger Eye to submit a formal complainant witness statement to the investigators.
He said the Special Prosecutor made it clear to the investigative team that the suspects would have the right to confront their accusers should that become necessary during the course of the investigations.
“The Special Prosecutor had, earlier in the said letter, indicated that his office was ready, able and willing to commence investigations into the allegations made against Mr Charles Bissue and Mr Thomas Andy Owusu for any or all suspected corruption-related offences after it had studied the information provided in our complaint,” Anas explained.