[ 2017-05-24 ]
Galamsey Queen goes ‘mad’
En Huang, the 31-year-old Chinese lady in police
grips over alleged illegal mining, yesterday
vented her spleen at an Accra Criminal High Court
following a botched attempt for bail.
Lawyers for En also known as Aisha Huang, had made
frantic and passionate appeals to the court to
grant the accused person and four others bail.
Jerry Akwetteh, lawyer for the suspects – Gao Jin
Cheng, 45; Lu Qi Jun, 39; Haibin Gao, 26; Zhang
and Zhang Pen, 23 – last week dashed to the court
in another desperate attempt to secure bail for
At yesterday’s sitting, visibly miffed Aisha was
spotted in the courtroom shaking her head to warn
her lawyer, Jerry Akwetteh not to talk to her.
She would not hear any more excuses as to why the
court, presided over by Charles Edward Ekow
Baiden, would instantly not grant the bail but
adjourn ruling on the matter until June 2.
Apparently displeased with the judge’s decision,
Aisha banged the seat before breaking down in
tears as Justice Baiden walked into his chamber.
The five have since been whisked to the Nsawam
However, the Attorney General and Minister for
Justice, represented by Mercy Arthur, a senior
state attorney, had preferred fresh charges
against the accused persons.
According to the charge sheet dated May 23, 2017,
all five have been charged with “undertaking small
scale mining without authority contrary to Section
99 (1) of the Mining and Minerals Act”
Aisha has been slapped with a second charge which
reads “Providing Mine Support Services without
valid registration with the Minerals Commission.”
She is facing an additional charge of Illegal
employment of foreign nationals contrary to
Section 24 of the Immigration Act, while the four
others face the charge of disobedience of
directive given by or under the Immigration Act,
The AG, surprisingly however, did not attach any
brief facts to the charge sheet – a move the judge
said was a departure from established convention.
The brief fact was expected to tell in detail the
offences of the accused and support the charges
preferred against the five.
Ms. Arthur had explained that it was not mandatory
to add the brief facts to the charges, stressing
that she would narrate the brief facts orally to
She later backtracked, indicating that she would
rely on the brief facts attached to the earlier
charges struck out by the court.
Moving the motion for bail, Jerry told the court
that Aisha has a medical condition which needed
He said he had attached the medical report of
Aisha to the motion but was unable to disclose it
because it was a private matter.
Aisha’s lawyer indicated that she (Aisha) would
appear in court to stand trial and that in
granting bail it was crucial the court looked at
the severity of the offence preferred against the
According to him, the charges preferred against
the accused persons as at the time of filing the
bail application, were all charges that attracted
fines and not custodial sentences.
He stated that even if the accused persons had
pleaded guilty to the offences, as per the charge
sheet, then “They were not to face custodial
sentences but rather fines.”
Jerry stated that Aisha submitted herself to the
police, contrary to “public opinion,” indicative
of the fact that the accused person was not a
The counsel said his client was unaware of any
directive that any foreigner entering Ghana should
observe before getting work, adding that the
charges against the accused persons are defective
and that the hands of the judge were not tied.
Kwame Owiredu, another member of the defence team,
stated that Aisha was not only before the court to
stand trial, but also to clear her name.
He contended that the accused had been hurt by the
media, but the judge stated that the parties were
not in court to deal with emotions.
Touching on the health of Aisha, Mr Owiredu said
in as much as the state has the right to remand an
accused person, the state also has a corresponding
duty to ensure that the health of the accused is
He was hopeful the affidavit of the AG would not
fetter the hands of the judge or stand on his way
to deny the bail.
But, Ms Arthur vehemently opposed the bail
application, stating that even where Aisha had
been remanded she could be assisted to take her
medications or go for reviews.
She argued that Section 99 (1) of the Minerals Act
provides for custodial sentences as well as a
The senior state attorney disclosed that Aisha was
still holding on to the passports of the other
According to her, Aisha had only released two of
the passports belonging to Gao and Zhang.
She was emphatic that the accused persons when
granted bail, would interfere with the ongoing
investigations of the police.
The accused persons worked as illegal miners
(galamseyers) at Bepotenten in the Amansie West
District of the Ashanti Region.
At the time of their arrest, galamsey had been
outlawed by the government through the Minister of
Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu.
Source - dailyguideafrica.com
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