Legal Practitioner, Tsatsu Tsikata has described as unlawful, government’s directive to a military task force to burn all mining equipment being used for illegal mining or mining that pollutes the environment.
He says the justification that persons believed to be engaged in such acts don’t have rights hence their equipment can be burnt is “nonsense”.
Government has been heavily criticized, with many raising concerns that the directive gives the task force too much power contrary to the law and due process.
Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame has insisted that the burning of excavators does not go against the country’s laws; adding that courting of sympathy for perpetrators leaves much to be desired.
Mr. Dame had referenced a court decision involving mining company, Exton Cubic to back his position.
“I find it – with all due respect – a little bit reprehensible, when people instead of ensuring that government leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to bring to a halt this menace, are rather advocating for the recognition of some non-existing rights of persons engaged in the act,” he stated.
But Mr. Tsikata during a discussion with students of the Faculty of Law of Central University took a different view on the matter.
“That is nonsense. That is nonsense because you don’t fight illegality with illegality. You don’t presume people guilty before you go through any process. There is no provision in any law of this country that allows government to do that,“ he stated.
According to him, the position taken by government is at variance with anything he has ever taught as a law lecturer.