Embattled galamsey kingpin, En Huang aka Aisha Huang has been granted one more week by the High Court in Accra to file her Witness Statement after failing to comply with orders to file before Monday’s court sitting.
The Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo on June 25 held that, a prima facie case has been established against her by the state.
She was then ordered to open her defence to charges of illegal mining but the case was fixed for Monday July 3, for her to file her Witness Statement for Case Management Conference.
However, she failed to comply with the orders of the court when she appeared on Monday.
Ms. Huang is currently facing three counts of undertaking a mining operation without a licence, facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation and the illegal employment of foreigners.
On May 3, she changed her plea on the fourth count – entering Ghana while she had been prohibited from re-entry and has since been convicted on that charge with her sentencing deferred to at the end of the trial of the remaining charges.
But, in Court on Monday, July 3, when the case was called, Counsel for the Accused represented by Hope Agboado prayed the court for one more week to within which to file their Witness Statement.
“My Lady, we have not been able to file our witness statement as ordered at the last Court sitting,” Counsel stated.
“Our intention was to address the factual queries raised in the Court ruling delivered on the 15th of June, 2023. Unfortunately, we have not been able to procure a copy of the ruling since. We humbly wish to make a prayer to the Court to make a copy of the ruling available to us and grant us leave of one week from today within which to file the witness statement of the accused as ordered earlier,” Counsel prayed the Court.
Justice Osei Marfo after listening to the Counsel said, “A copy of the ruling will be available by close of today, (July 3).”
The court has since adjourned the case to July 10, 2023 for Witness Statement of the accused to be filed and Case Management Conference conducted.
On May 3, this year, the Prosecution closed it case after parading 11 witnesses and the court has since ruled that, the elements of prima facie have been proven by the Prosecution through its Witnesses.
The court said, on the face of the charges it was clear that an illegal mining activities have been taken at Bepotenten in the Amansie West District in Ashanti Region.
The court also ruled that, the said illegal mining activities were done without license or authority from the sector minister.
Justice Lydia Osei Marfo after making referencing the appropriate mining laws under which she was charged ordered Aisha Huang to open his defence and answer to the charges.
EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, has compiled the witnesses all the witnesses who testified in the case for the Prosecution from November 9, 2022.
They included farmers, land and concession owners, an assemblyman, immigration officers and police investigators.
Below are the Prosecution Witnesses, (PW), and the chronology of how each of them appeared before the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.
PW1. Reuben Ransford Aborabora, a Superintendent of Immigration, GIS
PW2. David Essien, a Superintendent of Immigration, Ghana Immigration Service
PW3. Nana Sarfo Prempeh, Director of Volta Resources Limited, who is also a Divisional Chief at Asante Akyem Agogo Traditional Area.
PW4. Albert Appiah, a farmer at Bepotenten, Ashanti Region.
PW5. Timothy Teye Ali, a farmer at Bepotenten, Ashanti region.
PW6. Peter Amenya, a farmer at Bepotenten, Ashanti Region
PW7. Matthew Kwabla Abotsi, assemblyman for Bepotenten Electoral Area.
PW8. ASP Charles Adaba (Rtd), a Police Investigator.
PW9. Daniel Afrifa Adu, Assistant Superintendent of Immigration
PW10. Inspector Simon Nyaho, a Police investigator.
PW11. Devine Ahuma Ocansey, a Superintendent of Immigration.
Per the brief facts of the case as narrated to the Court by Detective Chief Inspector Frederick Sarpong were that, the Complainants in the case are Security and Intelligence officers based in Accra.
He said, all the accused are Chinese nationals who have gained notoriety in engaging in series of small-scale mining activities known as ‘galamsey’ across the country.
The prosecutor said, during the year 2017, the 1st Accused (Aisha Huang) was arrested for similar offence but managed to sneak out of the country averting prosecution.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarpong said, during the early part of 2022, the 1st Accused sneaked back into the country after having changed the details on her Chinese passport.
The Prosecutor said, the 1st Accused again resumed small-scale mining activities without licence and together with 2nd, 3rd and 4th Accused persons engaged in the sale and the purchase in Accra without valid authority granted as required by the Minerals and Mining Act.
He stated that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Accused persons are also into the sale of equipment used in illegal mining activities.
They were subsequently arrested upon Intelligence while further investigations have commenced.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Murtala Inusah