Controversial Miner Okoben Exposed On UTV

…As He Throws Accusations, After Alleged Threat On Journalist


Controversial miner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Okoben Mines, Nana Amponsah Okoben, who has been accused of leading some thugs to invade a mining community and purportedly threatened to blackmail a journalist, has been caught fumbling to exonerate himself.

Mr Okoben, who had initially refused to speak to United Television (UTV) morning show when he was called, could not explained why, he took a picture of the station’s Western Regional correspondent, Charles Egyri, for doing his work.

Even though, he confessed taking a photo of the journalist, he said he did not threaten him.

When pushed, the controversial miner, said he took the picture because the journalist together with his associates, one Alhaji Nuhu, chief of Abolabo, Nana Dominle Mienzah II, as well as operatives of the national security and police, have encroached his mining concession and busily mining gold.

Nana Okoben, who claims he owns the disputed 31.60kilometer square concession at the Evalue Gwira area in the Nzema East Municipality, said both Alhaji Nuhu and Nana Dominle Mienzah, are illegal miners who also operate with Chinese nationals.

Speaking on UTV, following The Anchor’s Thursday publication of the alleged threat, the gold miner accused Charles Egyri of engaging in illegal mining and serving as foreman for Alhaji Nuhu and supervising activities at the site.

“The Alhaji Nuhu is the boss of Charles. I am telling you the truth that, when we arrived, he was doing illegal mining, he was wearing Wellington Boots, plus he had mud all over his body. You can see from the picture I have sent you and that was not the first time, because I have sent a lot of people there to go and check. He was wearing Wellington boots, as I was speaking, he was very wet. I am telling you on authority he can take me to any court of his choice. He was at the site for one month.

I am telling him that the concession is mine, he has no authority to step there. Charles is working for Alhaji as foreman at the site, so all the workers are under him, if he says I am lying, he should swear with the Bible” he said.

Expired Permits

In this paper’s earlier publication, the chiefs and people noted that, the lease of the concession had expired, but Okoben is also arguing that, the claim is false and so he will not allow anyone to take the concession from him, for the intended Community Mining the residents are calling for.

He issued a stern warning to the aforementioned individuals to stay off the concession he acquired in 2016, to avoid any future confrontation or bloodshed.


The CEO, also denied claims that he invaded the mining site with gun and cutlass wielding macho men, amidst sporadic shooting, leaving two people injured.

Okoben in his submission, shifted the allegations on the journalist and Alhaji Nuhu, as having brought the men with the weapons.

“I did not see anyone holding gun. I am saying I didn’t see anyone holding a gun. It was his ‘bulldoze’ who wielded guns at the site and if Charles Egyri worships the Bible, he worships God, we seized some of the guns from his ‘bulldoze’ but I later returned them after the talks”, he said.

The journalist, had said the wealthy gold miner, stormed the site with some 65 machomen men wielding cutlasses and guns.

Nana Okoben, said on a number of occasions, he has had reason to report the encroachment of the concession to the Axim police command, leading to arrests on two occasions. He told the television station, he has also reported the threat to the police.

Dreaded Invasion

The reporter, who is known for reporting extensively on illegal mining, told host of the programme, Agya Kwabena, that he went to the area this month, following invitation from the chief, Nana Mienzah, after Okoben and his men stormed the area with cutlasses and guns.

He said, when he agreed to visit the town, he knew what he was getting himself into, having known and reported for Nana Okoben for years.

“When the chief called me and mentioned Okoben’s name I was freighted, because I know the stuff he is made of and the violence he has been visiting on the people in the area. And I have come face to face with stories of violence concerning him”.

According to him when he arrived, everyone in the town, including women and children, had gone into hiding. Egyri said as at the time he arrived; the whole town looked like a cemetery.

He said, he was met by the chief, who showed him around, following which he began to gather information, but not long after positioning himself and quickly taking some videos, he sighted the CEO of Okoben Mining and his men numbering over 60, wielding guns, cutlasses coming to the site.

At a distance, the journalist, said he heard his name mentioned by Okoben and at that stage, he knew his life was in danger.

“I was met by the chief and I had a security vehicle which transported me to the site to see things for myself. When I arrived, there was no one at the site so I took some videos and decided to wait in the car. Moment later, I saw several machomen numbering over 60 passing. While passing, I managed to video them so after a while, I thought they were all gone so I wanted to forward the video to my colleagues to be safe so that in case I am caught and they seize my phone, I know my video is safe.

I was standing by the vehicle when I heard my name mentioned. Momentarily, I felt like urinating and defecating on myself at the same time. I noticed it was Okoben and his men coming from a distance”.

Charles Egyri, said at this point, he started telling himself the thugs may kill him. But luckily for him, when they got closer, the machomen noticed he was a familiar face.

He said many of them noticed him as their senior in school from Effiakuma and Kwasimintim Zongo, so they came to the conclusion that they could not harm him.


“There and then, Okoben’s facial expression changed, as they left me off the hook. But Okoben at this point got closer to me and told me that look, I have videoed you and that if you bring this story out, I am going to pay billions of cedis to popular journalists to say that you are into galamsey.

Knowing him as a very wealthy person, I was perturbed initially, so after meeting the chief, I went to report to the Axim Divisional Commander’s office. Two people who were injured, were sent to the police station to report and write their statements”.

According to Charles Egyri, the latest of the threat is that, his accuser has given some media houses in Accra his photograph and picture of his family house and they have already shown them on television to denigrate him and also put his life in danger.

He said, his mother has as a result of the negative media attention, collapsed and now lives in fear.

The UTV reporter, said no television station, has called to ensure the needed balance as required by the profession, is done.


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