It’s been barely two weeks when the Minister for Science, Technology, Environment and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng, was hauled to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over allegations of conflict of interest, causing financial loss to the state and abusing his powers as the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on mining, and till now it is not quite clear whether the Commission has invited him or not.
‘’I have only read from the papers that someone has reported me to CHRAJ, but I am yet to receive any formal invitation from CHRAJ’’, Professor Frimpong Boateng has said.
Readers will recall from a petition filed by one Arnold Agbodo, asking CHRAJ to investigate Professor Frimpong Boateng over declaration of his interest in Symphony Limited (his mining company), among others.
Part of the petition reads that ‘’Professor Frimpong Boateng being the Chairman of the joint inter-ministerial committee on illegal mining has placed himself in a position of conflict of interest when he as the chairman of the said committee; which is to regulate the activities of illegal mining, is a shareholder and director of a company that holds two mining concessions. Because of his interest in the concession there is no record available to indicate that the taskforce under the control of the committee he chairs ever visited any of his concessions to ascertain the mining activities going on there’’.
The Petitioner believes Professor Frimpong Boateng has placed himself in a conflict of interest situation as a result of his interest in Symphony limited. Apart from the licenses given by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, every mining company is required to have an environmental permit for mineral exploration. ‘’This permit is granted by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is directly under the Ministry of Science, Technology, Environment and Innovation, clearly there is a conflict of Interest, as Professor Boateng will ultimately be issuing the environmental permit for mineral exploration to his own company’’.
According to the Petitioner, ‘’ Professor Frimpong Boateng is still in control of Symphony Limited even though he and his wife purported to have transferred some of their shares in the company and also resign as directors on January 10, 2014’’.