The suspended Vice Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Central Region, Ekow Ewusi, has been arrested by the Police.
His arrest follows a complaint made by the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to investigate Mr. Ewusi for his role in the missing excavators and other mining equipment.
The government has, in recent weeks, been under immense pressure to investigate and punish those who are responsible for the missing excavators and equipment seized from illegal miners by the Operation Vanguard Team, made up of the police, military, and other security services.
Last week, Professor Frimpong-Boateng disclosed on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that some of the seized excavators had gone missing, sparking strong reactions from the opposition NDC, OccupyGhana and the Media Coalition Against Galamsey and a cross-section of Ghanaians.
On Newsfile last Saturday, the association of small scale miners narrated how excavators seized were sold to people who use them to engage in illegal miners.
In the letter to the police CID, Professor Frimpong-Boateng stated:
“Mr. Ekow Ewusi was contracted to cart excavators and other vehicles and pieces of equipment seized by Operation Vanguard to designated areas for safe keeping.
“We have received information that he sent an unknown number of equipment to unauthorized locations, including one in Tema. This was confirmed by the caretaker of the depot in Tema.
Information reaching me indicates that he has sold an unknown number of the pieces of equipment, including excavators.
“I wish to appeal to the Police Authorities to investigate the matter.”
A video posted by Adomonline.com shows Mr. Ekow Ewusi, being escorted by armed police from his white Mercedes Benz into a police pick-up truck.
Mr Ewusi was suspended from the NPP in 2019 after he refused to respond to a petition by one Edward Okraku Adum, who accused him of engaging in criminal acts including and the auctioning seized excavators from mining sites.
The Regional Executive Committee, on the 31st of July, 2019, adopted the Regional Disciplinary Committee’s recommendation to suspend M Ewusi, indefinitely. This decision was later upheld by the National Steering Committee in August.
In December 2019, the NPP asked Kingsley Kofi Karikari-Bondzie, to act as the 1st Vice-Chairman of the party in the Central Region pending the final determination of Mr. Ewusi’s fate by the disciplinary committee.
Despite the suspension and accusation against Ekow Ewusi for illegally selling the seized mining equipment, he was not investigated until the recent upsurge of pressure and outrage in the renewed campaign against illegal mining.
The arrest of the the suspended Vice Chairman of the governing NPP does not come as a surprise because it has been a common knowledge that functionaries of the governing party are among the reason the president’s avowed war on illegal mining has failed.
A number of callers to the Super Morning Show expressed these sentiments, which Prof. Frimpong-Boateng dismissed, saying their allegations did not have evidential basis.
Theghanareport.com will bring you more on this developing story.
Watch video of Ewusi’s arrest:
Video credit: Adom TV