The governing New Patriotic Party has mounted a spirited defence for the Minister of Environment, Science and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, in the missing excavator saga.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng is heard in a video purported to be him allocating concessions to members of the NPP essentially to build a war chest for the party ahead of the 2020 elections.
Some big names within the party, including its General Secretary, John Boadu, and its Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi, are mentioned in the secret recording.
Following the release of the video, many including the opposition National Democratic Congress have called to question the integrity of Prof. Frimpong Boateng.
But the NPP says the integrity of the minister is without blemish.
“Prof. Frimpong raised that matter himself, nobody did that for him. So far as I’m concerned, Prof. Boateng’s integrity is intact. So the question is what do you do after he raised the matter?
“The fact is some of the excavators have been found and people have been arrested and some of those people including the ruling party members,” Communications Director of the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, told journalists at parliament on Thursday.
Prof Frimpong Boateng disclosed that hundreds of seized galamsey excavators have gone missing at the various assemblies.
The minister who spoke in an interview on Joy FM monitored by theghanareport.com denied figures attributed former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John-Peter Amewu, that a total of 500 excavators were seized.
“That was not the case. We were told that 500 had been seized and given to the district assemblies. But later on, when we out to check, the figure was far less than that” he said.
When asked to state the actual figure, the minister said: “I cannot tell you exactly what but I can tell you it was far lower than the 500 put out”.