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Aisha paid me GH¢24,000 after destroying my farm -Witness

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Aisha Huang

The prosecution fourth witness (PW4), Albert Appiah, has told an Accra High Court that he received payment of GH¢24,400.00 from En Huang aka Aisha Huang for the destruction she caused to his three-acre farmland.

According to the witness, he initially demanded a payment of GH¢15,000.00 per acre, but Aisha Huang, a Chinese national in the middle of an illegal mining trial, refused.

As a result, they agreed on an amount, which was a little over GH¢8,000.00 per acre, hence the settlement of GH¢24,400.00.

He told the court, presided over by Lydia Osei Marfo, on Wednesday that he accepted the settlement because the accused had already destroyed a section of his three-acre farm on which he had cultivated oil palm.

He said this while being led to give his evidence-in-chief by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa.
Excerpts of cross-examination by defence counsel for En Huang, Hope Agboado Q. Kindly tell your full name to the court?

A: Albert Appiah.
Q. What do you do for a living?
A: I am a farmer resident at Aboabo Domenase in the Central Region.
Q. Do you know the accused person?

A. I know the accused person, En Huang aka Aisha Huang.
Q: How do you know the accused person?
A: In 2016, I had a three-acre oil palm plantation at Asuogya Nwomaso near Bepotenten.

I also had other farm crops such as plantain and cocoyam next to my oil palm plantation. The land on which I farmed belonged to my great grandfathers who were also farmers and farmed that land.

Sometime in 2016, I noticed that a number of Chinese and Ghanaian nationals were mining within Asuogya Nwomaso, near Bepotenten.

My farmland shared boundaries with the following persons; Opanyin Mensah Nkegbe, Kwesi Lomotey aka Mathew Ahorlu, Ama Ketua, Kwame Darkwa, Yaa Badu, Akua Nyame and Wofa Adjei who is now deceased.

In the same year, that is 2016, the accused person approached me in the company of James Ogbey, her employee, and others, and indicated that she wanted to extend her mining activities to my land.

To my understanding, all the mining activities of the accused person were within the concession of Nana Kwesi Prempeh, whose company is called Volta Resources.

Aisha informed me that she had been granted a permit by the Chief of Akwamu, the same Chief who granted Volta Resources their concession.
Even though I heard that Volta Resources had given its concession to the accused person, I later learnt it was not true.

The accused person, with her Chinese and Ghanaian mining workers, came to my farmland to take measurements.
The accused person was personally holding the machine with which the measurements were taken.

It was late in the day and as such we could not negotiate the price, so I proposed we all met at Aisha’s mining site the following day.

I went to my farm the following day and realised the accused person and her workers had uprooted and destroyed a section of my oil palm plantation without the sale price being agreed.

This development infuriated me and I confronted the foreman of the accused person. I teamed up with another farmer, Kwabena Mensah Nkegbe, who had also not been paid for the destruction of his farm to go to Kumasi to meet Aisha to negotiate for the payment for our farmlands.

We were led by James Ogbey and the foreman of the accused person to Kumasi, Ahodwo, to meet with the accused person. I was accompanied by my senior brother, Kofi Anane.
We met Aisha at her office at Ahadwo, Kumasi. I personally demanded GH¢15,000.00 per acre for my farmland, because she destroyed my farm when negotiations had not been finalised.

Aisha did not accept my proposal and we finally agreed on a little over GH¢8,000.00 per acre. The accused person paid me an outright amount of GH¢24,400.00 for my three-acre farmland without issuing a receipt.

The only water body around my farm is Nkyingo River, which is currently in a deplorable state as a result of the mining activities of the accused person and her workers.

Sometime in 2017, I was contacted by the Ghana Immigration Service, Obuasi. According to the Ghana Immigration Service, they were investigating the accused person for the offence of illegal mining.

They then invited all the farmers who lost their farms as a result of the illegal mining activities of the accused person.

I was accompanied to the Immigration office at Obuasi by one Kweku Manu where I, together with the said Kwaku Manu, gave our statements. We were subsequently, called to Accra to give evidence in the case against Aisha at the High Court.

I cannot tell the exact number of workers on the accused person’s mining site, except to say that the workers were made up of Chinese and Ghanaian nationals.

I saw about 10 Chinese nationals working for the accused person. They were operating with Ghanaians near my farm. They lived in a wooden structure they had erected.

I also recall seeing about four excavators, two washing plants on her mining site being used at the mining site belonging to the accused person. This was near my farm.

On several occasions while working on my farm, I collected bottled water from the accused person at her mining site near my farm. Aisha conducted mining operations at Bepotenten. She even mined on my farmland.

Q. You have given evidence against the accused in the earlier case. Is that correct?
A. That is correct.
Q. According to your evidence before this court, you have a farm?

A. That is so.
Q. Where are your farms located?

A. …near Bepotenten.
Q. Is it on the same farm that you have all the crops you referred to earlier?
A. Yes.

Q. What else do you do apart from farming?
A. Nothing else. I’m a farmer.
Q. Are you telling the court that you do not operate a chainsaw?
A. I do not.

Q. Do you know about the circumstances of…case before court?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. How did you know?

A. What I know is that the accused person destroyed my farm without paying for it, and so I went to her office and collected my money.
Q. In 2017 you gave a statement… Is that correct?

A. Yes.
Q. You wrote and signed the statement yourself. Is that correct?
A. I did not write it. I spoke and it was written down.

Q. Who wrote it?
A. I will not be able to tell the name, but the immigration officers who invited me were those who wrote the statement.

Q. In your witness statement you stated that you knew about Volta Resource Limited. Is that correct?
A. That is so.
Q. You also know one Nana Prempeh?
A. I personally do not know him, but I’ve heard that he is the owner of the concession.

Q. You know Volta Resources is engaged in mining. Is that correct?
A. Yes, my Lord.
Q. You know Edward Koranteng?
A. Yes.

Q. You know him as a Manager of Volta Resources Limited?
A. As for that I do not know.
Q. How do you know him?

A. He is one of the workers of Nana Prempeh who has been going on the concession, but I do not know whether he is a Manager or not.

Q. In paragraph 12 of your witness statement, you stated that you heard initially that Volta Resources Limited had given its concession to the accused person to mine. Is that correct?

A. What normally happens is that before you enter someone’s concession you need to seek permission from the owner, so I thought when I saw the accused person… she had sought the permission of the owner. But later I got to know that she was there without the permission of the owner.

Q. Who informed you that Volta Resources Limited had not given permission to the accused to mine on its concession?

A. Edward Koranteng. He told me that they had not given the concession to Aisha to mine. I got to know because he was residing with our Queenmother.

Q. As at today, there are people mining on this concession of Volta Resources Limited. Is that so?

A. I do not work with them. I can’t tell.
Case Adjourned to December 1, 2022 at 9:00am.

Excerpts of cross-examination by defence counsel for En Huang, Hope Agboado

 

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