Freddie Blay reacts to law firm’s representation of alleged illegal miners


The immediate past national chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Freddie Blay has reacted to public discussions on his law firm’s representation of alleged illegal miners in court.

In a radio interview monitored by Graphic Online on Joy FM Wednesday morning (October 12, 2022), Mr Blay clarified that he was not the one who was personally handling the case but said it was the law firm he belonged to – Blay & Associates.

On Tuesday in court, Lucy Ekeleba Blay, a private legal practitioner, told the court that she was holding brief for Mr Freddy Blay in the case of the four.

The prosecution has accused the four as accomplices of En Huang, popularly known as Aisha Huang, who has been charged with the others for engaging in illegal mining activities in Ghana.

The four accused persons being represented by Blay & Associates are Shi Yang alias Philip, Li Wei Zuo and Shi Mei Zhi, all Chinese nationals. The fourth accused person is Nguyen Thi Thanh Tuyen, a Vietnamese national.

The accused persons in this case are different from another case where Aisha Huang has been charged for another illegal mining offence with three different Chinese nationals as her accomplices. The other accomplices in that case are Jong Li Hua, Huang Jei and Huaid Hai Hun.

Mr Freddie Blay is the lead counsel for the firm, Blay & Associates, in which Lucy Ekeleba Blay works.

Already, Mr Blay has clarified that he is not the one who is personally handling the case.

He has indicated that the accused persons’ only relation with En Huang is that, they bought a supermarket from her in 2017.

Below is a copy of a press release issued by Blay & Associates on the issue




We release this statement in reference to our representation of four (4) foreign nationals (three (3) Chinese and one (1) Vietnamese) who were arraigned this day October 11 before Her Ladyship Afia Serwaa at the Criminal High Court 5 in Accra.

It has come to our attention that there have been negative misconceptions in the representation of our clients, in the case of the Republic vs Shi Yang, Shi Mei Zhi, Li Wei Zuo, and another, (our “Clients”), and we as a firm would like to clarify these Issues. To us, it would seem that our Clients are collateral victims to a matter that is of great national concern.

We understand the deep-seated anger and sentiments any story on illegal mining evokes in Ghanaians. Even worse is when those accused are foreign nationals because of the extensive degradation and pollution of water bodies laid at their doorstep.

At Blay and Associates however, we believe in the inviolability of the judicial system. Blay & Associates is a firm that seeks to promote justice, ensures a fair trial, and seeks to give fair representation. We, as firm believers of our great 1992 Constitution of Ghana (“Constitution”), agreed to defend these Clients, having in mind these principles.

Our defence of the accused is steeped in our belief that they are innocent of the charges preferred against them. The facts of the case as we know to be true are as follows.

  1. The 1st to 3rd accused are legally resident, law-abiding persons in Ghana. Our clients have no business relationship with Aisha Huang except the fact of purchasing the supermarket from her in 2017 when she was first repatriated to China. Aisha Huang has had no further business dealings with our clients upon her return to Ghana.
  2. Our Clients operate a supermarket business that stocks regular goods and some specific Chinese groceries making them a reliable shop for Chinese and Asian patronage. A supermarket no matter how vibrant it is does not ripen into an illegal mining activity.
  3. For the avoidance of doubt, Aisha Huang was arrested at a different time and place to our Clients who were minding their business at home when they were picked up in the early hours on 14 September 2022. It would appear that our Clients are collateral victims of the pursuit for Aisha Huang and the campaign against illegal mining.
  4. The names of persons that some media platforms have reported that we are defending are completely false. We have no engagement with Gao Jin Cheng, Lu Qi Jun, Haibin Go, or Zhang Zhipeng who are noted as Aisha Huang’s associates. We also do not have any engagement with Aisha Huang.

As earlier intimated, we are extremely conscious of the sensitive nature of the “Aisha Huang matter” and the current devastating effects of illegal mining on our environment. We, along with all citizens of Ghana are very concerned about this and look forward to the resolution of these matters. Nevertheless, we believe we are duty bound to ensure the fair trial of our Client caught in the crossfires of the campaign against illegal mining.

It is expected that National Security and the NIB carry out a thorough investigation that is mindful of our great Constitution and the rights enshrined therein, including the right for all accused persons (including foreign nationals) to be represented by Counsel in order that the ends of justice is served in a fit sense.

For the fairness of this trial, and in interest of our Clients, we shall not be making any further comments or statements on this matter and would urge the media to let the court have space to adjudicate fairly on this bearing in mind a key cannon of our Justice delivery system, that is: ‘all persons (including foreign nationals) are innocent until proven guilty’

Yours sincerely,

My clients are not guilty; we’ve sworn an oath to defend them

Mr Blay in the Joy FM interview on Wednesday morning said his law firm is ready to defend the four persons as they are innocent.

He said they have no reason to believe or act otherwise, adding that the four deserve full legal representation in court.

“They came to instruct us and we as professionals, we have sworn an oath to defend our clients to the best of our knowledge and ability and that is exactly what we are doing in accordance with the Constitution of this country.

“They are not guilty. They’ve been brought before the court, they’ve pleaded not guilty and are being defended,” Mr Blay said.

“Our firm is defending these clients; they’ve told us their story. Maybe the prosecution has been told some other story and that is why we are before the court to defend them,” he added.

Responding to concerns that his firm’s representation of the accused persons defeats government’s fight against ‘galamsey’, Mr Blay said “I don’t know whether you are saying that at a time like this when people are accused or arraigned before court, they should not be entitled to any defence”.

Listen to the Joy FM interview in the attached audio below

Related: Freddie Blay’s firm should not have accepted to defend alleged illegal miners – Obiri Boahen

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