The 29 foreigners arrested for illegally mining in the Atiwa Forest reserve have been infected with rashes suspected to be Chickenpox at the Koforidua Prisons where they are on remand .
Counsel for the accused persons,Lawyer Adu Nyarko on Friday told the Koforidua Circuit Court presided over by Her Honour (Mrs) Mercy Adei Kotei after cross examining the second Principal witness in the case that, some of the accused persons have been infected with strange rashes and chickenpox therefore need health care as guaranteed in the constitution.
One of the accused persons was very ill when appeared before court on February 20,2016 hence was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
On Friday, an officer with the Forestry Commission mounted the witness box to testify in the trial .Lawyer for the accused consistently put to the witness that,the accused persons were not in the forest to prospect for gold as being alleged but the witness insisted the accused persons were caught red handed mining with their sophisticated equipment in the forest.
Lawyer for the accused persons at the previous hearing on February 20,2017 told court that ,his clients travelled all the way from their countries to hunt for game refuting Charges of illegal mining in the forest reserve argued that ,it is absolute incorrect for his clients to be accused of engaging in illegal mining in the Atiwa Forest reserve hence the exhibits ,axe ,sophisticated computerized equipment use to detect gold, and other portable equipments tendered in as evidence retrieved from the 29 accused persons in the forest does not belong to them adding that,most of the accused persons arrested in the bush were just asleep in the incident scene of the forest hence not caught red handed.
The 29 foreign illegal miners from Togo,Burkinafaso and Mali arrested on January 26 ,2017 at the Atiwa Forest reserve allegedly mining are ;Mohammed Omar, Mohammed Haruna, Amadu Basar, Dauda Zinjima ,Amar Mohamed, Kassin Bramah, Mahamudu Arubakari and Sitah Zibo.
The others are Hamidu Amadu, Musah Iddrisu, Munkaila Bomboro , Omaru Sulemana ,Addul M. Hudu, Zibo Alibu,Haruna Mumuni, Abdulai K. Kibo, Bukari Musah, Musah Ahmed and Sulley Aadum.
The rest are Munkaila Salifu, Yakuba Adamu, Yao Denay, Fuseini Amadu, Gubar Jatah, Barim Sribil, Hamza Gudiah Nameh Keita and Jibril Amidu.
Three of the accused persons are Ghanaians ; Halidu Zebo from Western region ,Haruna Mumuni from Osino and Abdulai Umaro from Eastern region .
Each of the accused persons is facing three counts of conspiracy to mine without license, mining without licence and trespass of forest reserve .
They have however pleaded not guilty.
The case has been concurrently adjourned to March 2nd and March 7,2017 .The accused persons are currently on Prison remand. – Kojo Ansah Sasraku