Aisha Huang: A-G is right to appeal – Martin Kpebu

Estimated read time 3 min read

Private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu has supported the decision of the Attorney General to appeal the case of Chinese illegal mining queen Aisha Huang. The Chinese national who was deported before she returned to the country and was later jailed is currently serving a four-and-a-half-year prison term. Her sentence is based on the old  Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).

However, on Tuesday, Attorney General Godfred Dame Yeboah announced that the case would be appealed to test the court’s resolve. The aim is to have the notorious illegal miner tried under the Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 995) which came into effect after Aisha Huang’s sentence.

Aisha Huang who was deported in 2018, a decision that caused public uproar and made a mockery of the government’s resolve to fight illegal mining returned to the country. She returned to the county six months after her deportation, transiting through Togo. After entering Ghana, she acquired the Ghana card in February 2022.

On Monday, December 4, 2023, an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo handed her a four-and-half-year term for the offences she committed between 2015 and 2017. The A-G in October 2022 decided to try her for the crimes she committed before her deportation.

Speaking to Joy FM, Martin Kpebu said “It’s good that the Attorney General is going on appeal,” adding that “it will strengthen our jurisprudence so that is good”.

According to Martin Kpebu, “Justice emanates from the people so where there is a groundswell of disappointment with the sentence and citizens are asking that why can’t we use the new law, it’s good to test the law.”

Aisha Huang covers her face with her arm as she leaves the High Court

In a show of support for the decision to test the new Minerals and Mining law, Mr Kpebu said “There is no harm in trying…It is good the Attorney General is saying that he is going to go on appeal. That is good. Let’s test the law.”

Concerns that A-G’s appeal won’t work against Aisha Huang

While many are in agreement with the decision to appeal, there are also concerns that there might not be grounds for her trial.

Also known as En Huang, Aisha Huang was tried for her offences between 2015 and 2017 and there is no evidence that she committed any similar offences after her return to the country in 2019. This is what casts doubts over the grounds for the appeal.

However, the Attorney General speaking to JoyFm confirmed that although there are no offences from 2019 against Aisha Huang, he is sure he has grounds to appeal.

According to Godfred Dame, “The judge indeed had a legitimate basis for sentencing in the manner she did”. However, based on the current sentencing regime, the A-G office thinks the judge ought to have applied the new regime in sentencing Aisha Huang.

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