Dr Clement Apaak, the Member of Parliament for Builsa South has expressed fear over a possible cover-up in the ongoing investigations by the Forestry Commission to unravel the truth about the recently seized illegal wood worth almost Ghc 400,000.00.

The Forestry Commission of Ghana on Monday January 11, 2021 directed the Executive Director of the Forest Services Division, Mr Oppong Sasu to proceed on leave.

A statement signed by the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey explained that, the leave is to pave way for a smooth and unbiased investigations into the recent seizure of illegal wood worth almost Ghc 400,000.00.

A truckload of milled wood originated from Sankore in the Western Region managed to passed through all the major Forestry Commission checkpoints without any hindrance until it was intercepted at Akyem Nsutam by the Okyeman Mining Protection Unit during a routine monitoring operation.

According to the report, upon interrogation, occupants of the truck mentioned Mr Oppong Sasu, the Executive Director of the Forestry Services Division as the owner of the wood.

Members of the Committee to conduct the investigations, according to the Forestry Commission are Brig. Gen (Rtd) Joseph Odei, Chairman of the Forestry Board, Mr Musah Abu-Juam, Technical Director, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and Mr George Wereko Brobby, Member, Forestry Commission Board.

But, speaking in an interview with ACCRA FM NEWS which was monitored by ghenvironment.org, Dr Apaak expressed misgivings about the composition of the committee.

He said, members of the committee are all working under the same government sector and it is difficult to expect anything meaningful from them at the end of the investigations.

“We have example of the Rosewood committee which was formed in December 2019 to investigate illegal rosewood trade where members were stacked with officials of the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry as well as Forestry Commission and the outcome of their work was nothing to write home about,” he said.

According to Dr Apaak, the only committee that would be acceptable to carry out an independent work, is a bipartisan one where Civil Society Organisations are made to lead the investigations and come out with an independent findings.