Chinese national being tried for engaging in illegal mining, En Huang aka Aisha Huang has questioned the credibility of Attorney-General’s third witness, Nana Sarfo Prempeh to testify against her in the trial that has a potential to send her to not more than five years imprisonment or to a minimum fine of 3,000 penalty units.
Aisha Huang wanted Nana Sarfo Prempeh to tell the court, presided over Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, yesterday whether he has ever met her before.
The Nana Sarfo did not provide yes or no answer required by counsel of Aisha Huang, Miracle Attachey who was cross-examining him, but explained that “I have met the accused person through her illegal mining activities on the concession of Volta Resources limited.”
The third prosecution witness (PW3) further explains that whenever earthmoving machines are seized by the local authorities, it was Ms Aisha who makes an appearance to claim those machines and on each of those occasions Volta Resources encouraged her.
Since the counsel was not satisfied with the answer, he reframed the question “have you met the accused in person before?” and just as Mr Miracle landed, Aisha removed her noise mask, looking straight into the witness’ face before he answers.
However, the witness, this time round, gave a more lengthy answer than Aisha and her counsel had bargained for that he met her in somewhere in October 2015, when four of her excavators were seized by the law enforcement authority on his company, Volta Resource Limited’s concession, and the same were deposited at the 4th Battalion Infantry in Kumasi.
Nana Sarfo added that he has met the accused subsequently in 2016 and 2017, when the Ashanti region security council undertook operation and seized her machines, and in particularly, two of her machines were seized his concession.
He told the court that he knows Aisha Huang as woman who through her has destroyed farmlands and water bodies in communities where she operates her illegal mining activities.
The counsel persisted: “I put it to you that the Accused person does not own any excavator or mining equipment as alleged by you?”
Witness: The accused has always made the appearance to claim the equipment whenever they were seized in illegal mining…. unless the accused can show a receipt of those she was renting the machines to. In every instance that Volta Resources Ltd caused machines or excavator being used in illegal mining to be seized,it is the accused that show up.
Q. As we are in court today there is no evidence of the accused person having possession of excavators ormaking appearance before law enforcement agency to claim ownership of same?
A. I disagree. It is the accused that had always showed up at the police station…There is no doubt that it is the accused that make those appearance to claim those machines. I have a pen drive containing media reports of residents demonstrating at Gyaaman and Bepotenten, whereby Ms Aisha Huang is being accused of mining at Gyaaman and Bepotenten and destroying farming and water …
Q. Have you been present in all incidents you have narrated to this court regarding the alleged seizure of equipment and appearance of the accused?
A. In some instances, I have been there and in some instances no. May the court note that Volta Resources is a company so the director need not to be always there but in the same instances.
Mr.Attachey told the court that the witness optioned to testify against the accused because he and his company were under investigation for mining without license, abetment of crime and tax evasion, and as a result, he was recently arrested.
“I further put it you that it is because of this investigation against you and your company that is why you are eager to give evidence in a case, which has no connection to your company.”
He added that the witness license covering his 7.89sqm Mebreso concession had since expired.
The witness denied ever being arrested but said he was invited by the law enforcement agency for questioning, adding:“I state categorically that I’m here to give evidence to ensure that justice done to the people who illegal mine from the period of 2015 to 2019.
Whereby she rot wholesale damage to the concession inclusive of the livelihoods of farmers whose farms and the residents who could not have access to clean water all because of the mining activities of Aisha…”
The case was a adjourned to November 29, 2022.
Read Full Story