Nkroful Magistrate fingered in rent scam after investigations by Minerals Commission, Ellembelle Assembly

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A joint report from the Minerals Commission and the Ellembelle District Assembly has dismissed reasons given by the Magistrate of the Nkroful District Court as to why she abandoned her official residence.

It will be recalled that the Western Regional Office of the Judicial Service wrote to the Ellembelle District Assembly, informing the assembly of the decision by the Magistrate to relocate from her official residence.

The letter to the District Assembly cited illegal mining activities behind the bungalow and issues of insecurity as premises for the actions of the Magistrate.

Following a receipt of the letter, the Minerals Commission and the Ellembelle District Assembly commenced investigations to ascertain the veracity of the claims of threat to life, properties and inconvenience and also crackdown on the alleged galamsey activities ongoing behind the bungalow which also houses the District Police Commander.

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According to a report cited by GhanaWeb, the closest activity of mining to the residence of the Magistrate’s residence is 130metres away. Even with that, the report indicated that the said mining activities at the said place have been stopped since June, 2022.

The report identified that there was an ulterior motive in the Magistrate’s decision to move out of her official residence to a rented apartment.

“We wish to state that, information available to us indicates that the decision by the Magistrate of the Nkroful District Court to relocate out of her official residence has nothing to do with the purported threat to her safety, security and health as a result of alleged illegal mining activity at the back of her bungalow stated in the letter.

“We are reliably informed that she is only using that as a ploy to move out of her official residence so she can continue enjoying her personal benefit of accommodation/rent allowance from the Judicial Service which she has been directed to forfeit as long as she continues to live in a government bungalow. It is therefore not surprising to us that the Magistrate did not even deem it necessary to inform us of her decision to relocate until the District Chief Executive (DCE) called her personally on Wednesday July 27th around 6:30 pm after receiving the letter from the Regional Administrative Officer of the Judiciary Service of Ghana.

“We wish to state categorically that, before her decision to relocate, there was absolutely no threat to the life and safety of the Magistrate in any way. As Chairman of the Ellembelle District Security Council (DISEC), I know for a fact that the Magistrate has been provided with two police guards, one personal bodyguard, and another residence guard detailed to provide her with security. It is therefore deceptive for the Magistrate to cite her personal safety and security as reasons for relocating.

“Paragraph two (2) of the letter from the Judicial Service of Ghana alleges that there is an “ongoing mining at the back of the bungalow (which) is affecting her health as the galamsey takes place during day and night depriving her of the needed rest/sleep. It also states that, “the chemicals used in the mining activities and the noise from the area are having impact on her health.’ It goes further to claim that, “the galamsey activities ongoing poses a great threat to her life as there have been series of clashes involving the galamsey operators within the area”.

“We find the attempt by the Magistrate to link her decision to move out of her bungalow to the purported ongoing galamsey activities as very disingenuous. This is because currently there is no ongoing illegal mining activity behind her residence as she wants the world to believe.

“We believe that if there is any institution within the Ellembelle District which can attest to our relentless efforts in the fight against galamsey in the last three (3) years it should be the Nkroful District Court. We say so because the Court is very much aware of the numerous arrests that has been made during galamsey operations led the DCE in his capacity as Chairman of DISEC after which the suspects have been arraigned before various courts either in Nkroful, Axim or even Takoradi for prosecution.”

On the way forward, the report recommended that the District Assembly, the police and the judiciary join forces to stamp out illegal mining in the area.

The Ellembelle District Assembly on the other hand, accused the Magistrate of frustrating the assembly’s fight against galamsey by treating those arrested for engaging in illegal mining activities with kid gloves and yet turning round to cite galamsey as a threat to her life

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