Thursday, 28 September

Aisha Huang saga: 'Very soon', I'm-Not-Aware Akufo-Addo'll say he's 'not aware he's the president' – Otokunor

Dr Peter Boamah Otokunor behind the rostrum and surrounded by other members of the NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has branded Nana Akufo-Addo as President I’m-Not-Aware following his recent comment that he was not sure whether Chinese galamsey queen Aisha Huang was deported in 2018 after her arrest in connection with illegal small-scale mining activities.

The Chinese national is currently facing two fresh charges – mining without a licence and engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without a valid licence.

She was arrested with three others: Jong Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun.

In May 2017, Aisha Huang became a household name for her notoriety in the galamsey business which gave her the nickname Galamsey Queen.

She was charged with three counts of undertaking small-scale mining operations, contrary to Section 99 (1) of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); providing mining support services without valid registration with the Minerals Commission, and contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), and the illegal employment of foreign nationals, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

However, the government suddenly discontinued the case and allegedly deported her in December 2018.

However, she is believed to have re-entered Ghana through the Togo border to engage in the same illegal business for which she was arrested and deported.

The Attorney General says she would be prosecuted for her previous and current crimes.

Speaking on her recent arrest, President Akufo-Addo said: “I’m not still sure whether she was, in fact, deported or whether she fled the country the first time and has now come back”, noting: “There still seems to be some uncertainty about it”.

“But whichever way it is, she’s become the sort of nickname for all that galamsey represents”, the President added during an interview in Ho, Volta Region on Tuesday, 13 September 2022.

At a recent press conference, the opposition National Democratic Congress alleged that Aisha Huang is a financier of the governing New Patriotic Party, thus, the administration’s kids’ gloves attitude toward her.

The Deputy General Secretary of the biggest opposition party, Dr Peter Boamah Otukonor, told journalists that the Akufo-Addo government’s lacklustre approach to prosecuting the Chinese illegal miner betrays the administration’s complicity in her trade.

“If she’s not a financier of the NPP, I wonder how somebody who is supposed to have been deported – and the [former] Senior Minister… Osafo Maafo, said that she has been deported – all of a sudden, the President is playing dumb and saying that he doesn’t know that the woman has been deported; and I think it is becoming one too many and becoming a worrying trend,” Dr Otokunor noted on Thursday.

“You have a sitting president, who always says that he is not aware of businesses that he himself has undertaken. The president has issued an executive instrument and he says he is [not] aware. He has written letters of authority and he says he is not aware… corruption appears under him, everybody’s talking about it, and he says he is not aware”.

“Today, Aisha Huang, he is saying that he is not aware that Aisha Huang was deported. Very soon, he will say that he is not aware he is the president of this country”.