I’m still investigating Charles Bissue – Martin Amidu
The Special Prosecutor (SP), Mr Martin A.B.K. Amidu says he is still investigating Mr Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue, over corruption allegations in spite of the fact that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) says he did nothing wrong.
Mr Bissue, a former Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal Mining (IMCIM) according to the CID did not circumvent the laid down procedures of the IMCIM to favour ORR Resource Enterprise, the company at the centre of the incident.
This, the CID said it was able to establish after thorough investigations.
But in a radio interview with Accra based Citi FM Monday morning, Mr Amidu said his office has not yet cleared Mr Bissue of corruption allegations brought against him by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye P.I.
Mr Bissue was captured in a documentary that Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye P.I produced on the menace of illegal mining.
In the documentary, Mr Bissue was seen allegedly taking money to help an unlicensed company to circumvent laid down processes to be given clearance for its mining operations.
The documentary also captured other people tasked with the responsibility to help the state to fight galamsey (illegal mining) allegedly circumventing the very duty they were entrusted with.
Reacting to news reports, Mr Amidu said the police has no jurisdiction to clear Mr Bissue and his other colleague, one Andy Owusu of corruption charges.
He explained that Anas and his team petitioned his office in February this year, following the release of the documentary in which his office replied the petition in the same month and assured Anas and his team that his office would take the matter up.
Mr Amidu added that his office commenced investigations, but before he could invite Bissue, “I read a newspaper publication in which Charles Bissue said that the CID was investigating his case and that the complainant should go there and make their evidence.”
According to him, soon after he read the said newspaper publication, he wrote to the Director-General of the CID “to tell her that the offences of corruption have been apportioned to the Office of the Special Prosecutor” and that his office [Special Prosecutor] has been petitioned in the matter the CID was allegedly investigating.
Mr Amidu said since the CID had no jurisdiction in the matter and he also didn’t want duplicity of his work, he told the CID boss to stop the investigation.
According to him, the CID boss wrote back to him and said she had been instructed by the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who is also the Chairman of the IMCIM, to investigate the case.
That, the SP said “I wrote objecting very strongly and then I began the investigation.”
According to him, “I wrote to the Chief of Staff to release Bissue”, explaining that Mr Bissue was released and that his office took statement from him.
Mr Amidu said all the parties accused of corruption allegations were invited and statement taken from them, adding that the complainant, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was also invited and statement taken from him.
He said although Anas has sent some videos to the office concerning the issue, he [Amidu] had not personally seen the video because “I’m not the investigator.”
He said when the investigators were done with their investigations, the docket would be sent to his office for further actions, saying “the case is with us.”
Mr Amidu said he had written to the CID and copied the Minister of Interior as well as the Jubilee House [Presidency] over the issue that the CID did not have the jurisdiction to concurrently investigate the matter with the office of the Special Prosecutor.
He said he would not allow anyone to interfere with his mandate by choosing to send cases that suit them to the police and not allowing his office to take charge.
According to him, both Mr Bissue and Andy Owusu were on bail and that the decision by the Minister of Interior to direct the police to investigate the case was a political decision.