BY KOJO ANSAH
THE KOFORIDUA Circuit Court ‘B’ presided over by Her Honour Mercy Adei Kotei on Tuesday jailed an 18-year-old Doku Ernest three years in prison and an additional fine of GH¢ 24,000.00.
The convict pleaded guilty to charges of mining without licence.
According to the Prosecutor, Assistant State Attorney, Mr Cyril Boateng Keteku, the convict Doku was arrested for illegally mining in the Atiwa Forest Reserve by a team of forestry taskforce led by Mr Palmer Aikens Amponsah during their routine duties.
The Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’, which is one of the few courts set up across the country by the former Chief Justice to deal with illegal mining cases, also began trial of many other illegal miners arrested by the Operation Vanguard Taskforce in parts of the Eastern Region from January 12 to 15 , 2018.
Four accused illegal miners, Tetteh Akwetey, Joseph Kwao, Nelson Gbadago and Akpah Noah, were put before court for mining in the Birim River at Nsuapemso, near Osino.
The accused persons were arrested when they attempted to escape by diving into the Birim River upon seeing the taskforce.
They pleaded not guilty and were remanded in prison custody to reappear on Feb 1, 2018.
Also, one Simon Tetteh was arrested by the Operation Vanguard Taskforce and was admitted to bail of GH¢ 40,000.00 with two sureties.
The case has been adjourned to February 14, 2018.
Another illegal miner, popularly known as Otumfuo, was also put before the court but was granted bail of GH¢ 40,000.00 after he pleaded not guilty. The case has been adjourned to February 13, 2018.
The last illegal mining case heard on Tuesday involved an accused, Freeman Ahorsu, 38.
He was arrested at Akyem Mmooso for mining in the Birim River.
He pleaded not guilty and was also granted bail of GH¢ 40,000.00 to reappear on February 13, 2018.