I Will Blackmail You If You Publish My Story

–UTV Journalist Threatened


Editor and Western Regional Correspondent of Accra-based United Television (UTV), Charles Egyir, has been threatened not to publish a shooting incident he witnessed in the region or else, he will be blackmailed.


The journalist, said the alleged threat on him happened on April 7, 2024, when some thugs invaded a mining community called Abolabo, in the Nzema East Municipality.


According to him, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Okoben Mining, Nana Okoben Amponsah, who led the group to the community, allegedly issued the threat after he saw him at the scene and walked towards him to question his mission at the area at that hour.


But Charles Egyir said, when he answered Nana Okoben that he came to the area on a different mission, but not for a story, the popular small-scale miner, allegedly warned him that he will disgrace him through the media, using some presenters if he makes any attempts to publish the invasion and shooting incident.


He mentioned that the exchange between them, happened after he spotted Okoben at a distance, taking his photo without his consent.


According to him, he now lives in fear, as he does not know what the man intends to do with his photo and the sort of blackmail he was talking about.


The Anchor in its Tuesday April 23 edition, reported how the Chief and people of Abolabo, a mining community in the Western Region, have had to run for their lives, after some hoodlums numbering about 65, invaded the community with guns and cutlasses, leaving two of the residents severely injured.


The community, this paper gathered, was held hostage for hours, amidst sporadic gunshots, forcing the Chief of the town, Nana Dominle Mienzah II, and some of his elders toflee the palace and their homes for safety.


Residents told this paper, the attack was masterminded and spearheaded by the CEO of Okoben Mining.


They said, the miner who has gained notoriety in using thugs, is unhappy that his mining concession, has allegedly been taken away from him and given to another miner with alleged connivance of the chiefs, even though his permit has expired.


Nana Dominle Mienzah II, who also confirmed the incident to The Anchor on Tuesday

said, he cannot sleep peacefully in his own house anymore, as the community is now living in fear.


According to him, this is not the first time the owner of Okoben Mines, is leading thugs to terrorize residents.


“Okoben came with about 60 thugs and attack us, that we should leave there. They came with cutlasses, pump action guns. In fact, we run away and don’t even know where to hide. I and some elders and the youth, run away from the village,” he confirmed.


The disturbing incident has left one of the victims, Richard Adado and another, allegedly battling for their lives, due to the gunshot wounds.


Videos and pictures of the incident obtained by The Anchor, showed the thugs wielding cutlasses and some offensive weapons, whiles firing indiscriminately.


The case has since been reported to the Axim Police Command for investigation.

The chief vowed that regardless of the attacks, the community will still not want him on their land, adding “the land is for us, it is not for him [Okoben]. He is an Ashanti man, and we are Nzema” hence should stay off.


They threatened that, this time around failure by the security and law enforcement agencies to take any action about the case, the community, will take the law into their own hands, in the events that Mr Nana Amponsah, popularly known as Okoben, unleashes his thugs on them again.


They narrated that, the popular small-scale miner, invaded the Abolabo community on that fateful day with about 65 heavily built men, commonly called ‘machomen,’ even though they have been informed, his mining permits for the said concession in question has expired.


According to them, by the time the police were called to intervene, Okoben and his thugs, had already absconded the area with the vehicles that brought them.

The community prior to the attack, had protested against Okoben over what they described as continuous destruction of their lands through alleged illegal mining activities otherwise called ‘galamsey’.


Okoben, who is a household name in the Western Region, particularly the Wassa enclave, has been accused of engaging in galamsey and in the process destroying water bodies and degrading the land.


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