Opinion: Is Capt. Effah-Dartey Really Sound Upstairs? – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Capt. Nkrabea Effah-Dartey

He is a lawyer by profession but also spent a considerable amount of time in the Ghana Armed Forces at about the same time that Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings was Head-of-State and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces. So you can clearly see that the man is neither a very good professional soldier or a cognitively acute personality. He was also one of those political clowns, about 14 in all, who ran in a grotesque presidential primary to succeed former President John Agyekum-Kufuor. Of course, on this score, I promptly make exceptions of then-Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the undisputed front-runner; then-Vice President Aliu Mahama, of blessed memory; and Mr. Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, the present Trade and Industry Minister, then Trade Minister in charge of Presidential Special Initiatives.

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Lawyer Nkrabea Effah-Dartey does not come off to me as a very astute legal practitioner or a formidable legal light, as it were. We all witnessed the scandalously gauche manner in which he defended a couple, or so, of the superior court judges who were caught in the collaborative sting operation conducted by famed investigative lawyer-reporter Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas and former President John Dramani Mahama. And so I wasn’t the least bit surprised to read the news report in which the former legislator from Berekum, in the Brong-Ahafo Region, was alleged to have called on Mr. Jon Benjamin, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, to render a profuse apology for causing the leakage of a confidential letter that Mr. Benjamin allegedly wrote to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, in which he announced the 10-year ban imposed on one former Member of Parliament and three other presently sitting MPs.

Whoever really caused the leaking of the British High Commissioner’s allegedly confidential letter to Speaker Oquaye, is far less significant than the visceral reaction of those virulent and vitriolic critics of Mr. Benjamin, who curiously appear to envisage the august House as an institutional sacred cow whose members stand well above both the laws of Ghana and the diplomatic laws of the international community as well. Capt. Effah-Dartey would have Mr. Benjamin publicly apologize to the Speaker and Members of Ghana’s Parliament because, somehow, in the conflicted imagination of the former Berekum MP, it is the fault of the Chief British Diplomat in Accra for calling out the patently fraudulent and, perhaps, even criminal behavior of the former MP and his three sitting former colleagues.

For Capt. Effah-Dartey, it is perfectly hunky-dory for live-goat and chicken thieves to be publicly humiliated and routinely slapped with stiff judicial penalties, including long prison sentences but, somehow, an anathema for anybody, least of all the British High Commissioner, to publicly expose corrupt and criminally minded Ghanaian legislators. In the main, the previously named legislators are accused of having abused their public trust and international diplomatic laws by helping their relatives and cronies acquire diplomatic passports and visas and then breaching the terms of their visas by overstaying their welcome in the United Kingdom.

Capt. Effah-Dartey’s characteristically porous defense is that the violators may have met their future spouses and gotten married and settled permanently in the UK, or they may have inadvertently taken ill and decided to stay beyond the temporal requirements of their visas in order to seek medical treatment. If this man is not clinically afflicted with an acute case of dementia, I don’t know what else he may be afflicted with. I mean, has it ever occurred to Capt. Effah-Dartey that there is a well-established protocol for those who go beyond the terms of their diplomatic visas to inform the appropriate authorities of their host countries? And, also, just what does he mean by his argument that at the time that the MPs allegedly involved in the visa scam secured the same, “Parliament had not come into effect”? what has this got to do with the price of a Rolls Royce in London?

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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