Effah Dartey The Great! …says visiting BNI is like going into a ‘virgin’s hole’

Aisha Huang

An Accra Circuit Court, presided over by His Honour Samuel Bright Acquah, has remanded the Galamsey Queen, Aisha Huang, and three others into Nsawam Prisons custody, following a plea by Captain Nkrabeah Effah Dartey (rtd) that accessing the accused persons at the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) cells was as difficult as “going into a virgin’s hole.”

Capt Dartey (rtd), while praying the court to grant Aisha Huang, a Chinese woman who has gained notoriety as a ‘Galamsey Iron Lady’, Johng Li Hua, Aisha’s alleged daughter, Huang Jei, and Huaid Hia Hun, complained about how it was totally incommunicado to engage the four in the NIB cells.

Per the argument tabled for bail yesterday, the ex-serviceman said on September 14 this year, the accused persons were put before the court on two charges, engaging in the sale and purchase of minerals without a valid license, and mining without a license, and the Chinese nationals were denied bail.

He said the prosecution opposed the bail on the grounds that the case was still under investigation, yet had failed to appear before the court with the excuse that he was bereaved, meanwhile, he was under an obligation to brief the court on how far they had gone with their investigation.

He added: “I’m sure his representative is here to ask for a date.”

Aisha Huang

His challenge was that he would not have had any problem if the trial was a civil case, which the parties could go home to their normal lives in this circumstance, but the case was criminal in nature and it was only the court that could determine the accused persons’ guilt.

It was at this instance that he disclosed that the two females involved in the case were mother and daughter, and that they shouldn’t be penalised simply because they were not Ghanaians. He added that if the court went on that trajectory, it would create a wrong and false impression on the international scene.

Capt Effah Dartey (rtd) further averred that the court mind the fact that the law was no respecter of persons, therefore, the issue at stake was to determine whether a crime had been committed or not, and for the wheel of justice to deal with it squarely.

The court was urged to exercise its discretion to grant the accused persons bail, since every crime was a bailable offence in Ghana.

Holding Detective Inspector Frederick Sarpong’s brief, Inspector Isaac Babaye prayed the court to refuse the bail motion, since the judge was not a timorous soul as the counsel tried to project that he may be influenced by the Attorney General, media, or public opinion.

According to him, the prosecution wanted justice not to just be done, but manifestly being done, stressing: “We (the prosecution) are putting our facts together; the prosecution is ready to prosecute this matter.”

He continued that the accused persons did not have a fixed place of abode and not to talk of being gainfully employed in the country.

Inspector Babaye averred that investigations had so far disclosed that the Chinese nationals entered the country through illegal means, and as such, they were not fit to be granted bail.

Inspector Babaye further stated that being innocent of a crime was not tantamount to bail, since in the case of “The Republic versus Dosiah (a Nigerian case)”, the presiding judge ruled that justice was a three way traffic – justice for accused, complainant/victim and the state – and in this case Ghana deserves justice.

Aisha’s trial not a murder case 

As part of the effort to support his argument for bail, Capt Nkrabeah Effah Dartey (rtd) reiterated that Aisha’ trial was not a murder case, and that the media, which he claims was spilling garbage on the case into the public domain, and that the court should not pay attention to it, reported that a man had killed his wife and taken his own life in Berekum, where he hails from.

Per his argument, this issue was more serious than the trial of Aisha Huang, which the media had hyped so much.

The court immediately interjected that the murderer in question killed just one person in this scenario, whereas, galamsey was polluting the country’s water bodies, which was affecting everybody.

The court further stated emphatically in its ruling on the bail applications that “galamsey is one single activity that is affecting all living beings, whilst human beings are complaining the fishes in the rivers are suffering and the animals in forests that depend on these water bodies are dying, because their habitats are being disturbed.”

H/H Acquah noted that it was being reported in the media that cocoa farms were being given to illegal miners and trenches dug in these farms were so dangerous that they had prevented other farmers from having access to their farms.

The judge feared that Ghana, in the near future, would be importing water, as the Ghana Water Company had given notice that it would soon shut its machines from operating if the galamsey menace was not curbed, saying: “I pray that all stakeholders should take a strong stance against galamsey.”

According to His Honour, the reality of illegal mining had dawned on the country, particularly when one sat behind a television and saw the havoc it had caused to the environment, for all persons to take action.

He said it was important that the general public came together to put an end to illegal mining, due to the dire consequences it continued to have on the environment.

Bail Denied

The court denied the bail applications filed by Mr. Nkrabeah Effah Dartey and counsel for Aisha Huang’s daughter, Franklyn Kumakoh, on the grounds that the galamsey goddess who was also identified as Huang Rei Ruixia, may escape trial.

According to the court, Aisha Huang was reported to have been deported from Ghana, but how she re-entered the country, only she could tell. “That means the possibility of escaping trial is very high… Section 89(j) also gives to the court to refuse bail. The bail application is hereby denied.”

The brief facts

The brief facts presented to the court by the prosecutor indicated that the complainants in this case were Security and Intelligence officers based in Accra, while all the accused persons were Chinese nationals who had gained notoriety in engaging in a series of small-scale mining activities, known as “galamsey”, across the country.

He said, during 2017, Aisha Huang was arrested for a similar offence, but managed to sneak out of the country, averting prosecution.

Unfortunately, he added, during the early part of this year, Aisha Huang sneaked back into the country after having changed the details of her Chinese passport.

DC/Ins Sarpong added that Aisha Huang again resumed illegal small-scale mining activities without a license, and together with the other accused persons, engaged in the purchases and sale of minerals in Accra without a valid authority granted, as required by the Minerals and Mining Act.

He stated that Johng Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun were also into the sale of equipment used in illegal mining activities.

The prosecuting officer narrated to the court that the accused persons were arrested upon intelligence gathered by intelligent officers.

The case has been adjourned to October 12, 2022.


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