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Seized rosewood will not be burnt - Lands Minister

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Lands Minister Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh has said the ministry has no intention to burn seized rosewood as part measures to prevent the illegal felling of the tree.

Reacting to a declaration by the CEO of the Forestry Commission Owusu Afrieyie at meet the press in Accra, the Lands Minister said the seized rosewood will be used for other purposes.

"Seized rosewood, the ministry is not aware of the statement that rosewoods will be burnt and indeed the seized rosewood will not be burnt, we will use it for a different purpose..."

READ ALSO : Let's amend our laws to deal with illegal rosewood trade - Dep. Attorney General

Background

The Forestry Commission last week said it will begin burning all illegally fell rosewoods seized across the country.

According to the Forestry Commission, the new step has become necessary because individuals have developed new ways to escape the arrest.

CEO for the Forestry Commission Kwadzo Owusu Afrieyie speaking to Joy FM said, "Because we are attacking them on the road now they are taking other routes on the Volta lake bringing them, we've dispatched our men to go there and wait for them and last week we arrested about 5 vehicles what I have decided to do and I think I have the support of my board is to burn them..."

Rosewood : Committee to investigate allegations cannot be trusted - Dr. Apaak

MP and NDC parliamentary candidate for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak said the committee set up by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to investigate the allegations made in the EIA report on rosewood trade cannot be trusted.

READ ALSO : Rosewood : Clement Apaak petitions Special Prosecutor to probe Forestry Commission

Dr. Clement Apaak in a Facebook post said, "The committee is put together and will report to the Minister, it's chaired by one of his deputies and has members drawn from the Forestry Commission, the Ministry, Customs among others.

"How can the very same entities alleged to be deeply complicit in the ongoing illegal rosewood trade investigate a matter they are alleged to be involved in or superintending over?," he asked.

He added that "I truly cannot expect any meaningful outcome from the seven-member committee. The true motive for setting up this committee is yet to be known, but I suspect it's to cover up and or deflect attention from my petition to the Special Prosecutor."