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Government using NIB to probe seized rosewood from Nigeria to cover up illegal trade in Ghana

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Mr Apaak has accused the Lands and Natural Minister of being selective in his duties Mr Apaak has accused the Lands and Natural Minister of being selective in his duties

The Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak has slammed the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abu Jinapor describing, him as a Minister engaging selective justice.

The Minister has handed over 13 impounded rosewood containers to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) for a comprehensive investigation.

The move is to unravel the circumstances behind the importation of lumber into the country and the suspects behind the containers.

The Minister, in giving the directive stated that President Akufo-Addo had placed an outright ban on rosewood harvesting, trade, hence the confiscation of the containers.

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But the MP who has been a fierce advocate against illegal rosewood trade described the move as selective justice.

He was wondering why the Minister failed to apply the same speed in referring a similar confiscation of rosewood at the Tema Port to the NIB.

According to him, the Minister has failed to apply the same seriousness to the Tema saga and yet, found it appropriate to speed up the recent issue.

He described the move by the Minister as strange since he is not interested in probing a matter which involves an attempt to export rosewood from Ghana but swiftly dealing with the ones imported from Nigeria.

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He said: “I fail to appreciate the speed with which the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources referred the case involving 13 containers of rosewood impounded at the Tema port on August 31st to the NIB for a “comprehensive investigation” to unravel the suspects and circumstances leading to the importation of the 13 containers into Ghana.

“My inability to commend the Minister is because he is yet to act similarly with regards to 5 containers of rosewood impounded on June 17th and a container impounded earlier this month in the Savlugu District on August 12th.”

He quizzed: “Why the Minister moved swiftly in the case of the imported rosewood into Ghana from Nigeria, yet seems lethargic in asking the same NIB to investigate the rosewood stolen from within Ghana is perplexing. Something is not right!”

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The MP further alleged that there is an attempt by the powers that be to use the NIB to probe the recent matter just cover the tracks of top Ghanaian officials involved in the illegal trade.

To him, these faces have protection from the presidency and because of that, they cannot be punished for their crimes.

He wants the President to react to the matter and show leadership in dealing with the illegal trade of rosewood.

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