Of Messages And Messengers

Feature Article Of Messages And Messengers

According to recorded history, at the peak of Asanteman glory, circa 1800 JAMAN was one of their tributary states.

Their Chief Nana Adinkra made a golden stool for himself and the Asantehene Osei Bonsu sent and collected the golden stool to Kumasi.

Resentment and rebellion broke out in Jaman and Nana Adinkra was nearly destooled. Urged on and led by his own sister the Queen Mother, ASUAMA, another golden stool was carved out of pure gold for Nana Adinkra and this time round Otumfuo Osei Bonsu sent a very arrogant pompous chief, ANANTA HENE as leader of a delegation to Jaman, to retrieve the golden stool.

Nana Adinkra convened a big durbar and it was chaotic. Speaker after speaker condemned the Asante delegation and Nana Adinkra ordered that each of the five man delegation should be DECAPITATED immediately.

Killing a messenger does not mean killing the message. Otumfuo could not sit in Kumasi with this violent insult to his majesty. He took three years to mass up an imperial Army of 200,000 troops and invaded JAMAN. Historians call that war as ADINKRA WAR. Nana Adinkra committed suicide before Asante troops could capture him.

Reader, we practicing lawyers are glorified messengers of our clients to advance their interests in Court.

I was in my office when Valentine Nana Agyeiwaa popularly known as AFIA SCHWARZENEGGER called me: “Captain, lawyer Maurice Ampaw says I have sex with dogs – I want you to sue him”. “Come to the office, Afia…..”

She came, and after listening to her I wrote a “Demand Notice” to the lawyer, for a fee, which Afia paid.

On her instructions, I went to Tema High Court accompanied by two of my junior lawyers, and told the Court that Applicant chairman Wontumi was not in Court, his lawyer was not in Court, we have not been served with any application, so my lord, strike out the application with costs, which was done.

Two or three radio stations called me and asked me questions on this matter including Kwame Nkrumah Tekesse's OKAY FM and I said just this, no more no less.

My elder brother timber merchant Ernest Kwame Apraku is dead so I left Accra Thursday for Berekum for the One Week. I was even asleep in the car returning to Accra on Sunday night when a good Samaritan called me:

“Captain what have you done that Maurice Ampaw is castigating you like that on Wontumi TV?

Next morning a friend sent me transcript of the effusions by Maurice Ampaw and I listened and listened over and over again…… should I reply him?

He said he has a platform, so he is warning me, if I am a man this and that………unfortunately I am just a court going lawyer. I am not a journalist, I have no platform, I am just a freelance writer. Editors choose at their pleasure to publish what I write. I bow to you, Maurice Ampaw. You are privileged to have a slot on Wontumi TV.

Just because I went to the High Court to render a professional service for a client you lambast me that I am a failure in this and failure in that?

You said I was a failure as a soldier, made a coup……. As a lawyer you should CHECK your FACTS.

I enlisted as a soldier on 2nd November 1977 in Intake 20 and after two weeks training at Teshie during which I was Steeple Chase champion. I was sent to Royal Military Academy Sandhurst UK where I was given the Best Overseas Cadet Award in RCC 17-1978.

When I got back as Lieutenant I served in Michel Camp, served as ADC to Army Commander General Quainoo and saw action in Lebanon where I built NKRABEAH WALL in F-14 at Kafr Dunin.

I was arrested by military Intelligence for planning a coup and charged with military equivalent of TREASON which is MUTINY. I had no lawyer to defend me at the General Court Martial but even so I was acquitted and discharged at the level of SUBMISSION OF NO CASE by the General Court Martial presided over by group Captain J A Kotei. I was convicted of MISCONDUCT and jailed.

I was in prison for 11 months, and released by the coup on 31st December 1981. J. J. Rawlings for his own reasons arrested and detained me without any trial for 6 months, promoted me CAPTAIN while I was in prison and compulsorily released me from the Ghana Army. Is that a profile of a failed soldier?

Did you say I am a failure in law?
I was called to the Bar in 1986 and God has kept me on my feet all these 37 years. The incoming Chief Justice Gertrude Torkonoo is my mate at the Ghana Law School and the current Attorney General is my junior at the Bar by over 10 years.

By the Grace of God I am the head of my own law firm with 15 active daily Court going lawyers, operating from a three storey building at Asylum Down as our chambers.

Is this the profile of a failed lawyer?

You said I am a failed politician.
As MP for Berekum, I was very active in Parliament debates, with my face on TV several times speaking on the floor of Parliament. I was in regular touch with all the 36 communities in Berekum Constituency, going there at least once every two weeks.

I have no doubt in my mind that if NPP were to be selecting Parliamentary Candidate by every card bearing member voting in the Primaries instead of the money – crazy delegates concept like I would be MP for Berekum for a very long time.

As Deputy Minister for Local Government and Interior I visited every district in Ghana, constantly in touch with the people, with my boss Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, my mate at Legon.

Peter Ala Adjetey's Vetting Committee erroneously disqualified me from contesting for NPP Flagbearer, and I lost elections to be NPP General Secretary – does that mean I am a failure in politics?

You concluded that I am a failure in life…….

By the Grace of God I was educated in Achimota School and I took a law degree at Legon in 1977. Some of my mates at Legon Law Faculty were Supreme Court Judge Nene Angaleh, Togbe Hodo V President of Volta Regional House of Chief. I was the President of Commonwealth Hall for Trinity Term 1976/77.

By the Grace of God I live in my own house a hen coop in Kasoa, by the Grace of God I have four children, all of them University Graduates, Hyebere who went to Mfantispim, KNUST and lectured in China for 10 years, Adom who went to Akosombo International, Legon University and now post graduate law student in London, UK; Divine who went to Achimota, did law in Kumasi and now a very busy top divorce and criminal lawyer in Nkrabeah and Associates and finally my fourth born, product of Achimota School and a practicing medical doctor at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Go to Berekum, where I live in my own small cubicle – Exodus 14:14 Villa. My mother's people have made me Head of Family of the Nana Yaw Woro Royal Family with over 2000 members.

By the Grace of God my father in law's daughter who has slept beside me for FORTY years holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Legon, and manages my Hotel in Kasoa. When you see her especially in slit and kaba, with voluptuous endowment at right places……and you say I am a failure in life?

By the Grace of God I was President of Brong Ahafo Citizens Union in Accra for fours years and President of Berekum Citizens Union in Accra for 6 years.

I have written 115 full stage scripts, and I am the Founder/Leader of the Theatre Mirrors Drama Society for 37 full years with a track record of 1,500 public performances. I was President of the Ghana Union of Theatre Societies for 10 years.

Maurice Ampaw, were you being thoughtless and reckless when you said I am a failure in life?

Maurice Ampaw, the other day a whole Brigadier General in Ghana Army did me a favour, and I called to thank him. I said to him: “May God Bless you. May you become a Major General…..” he cut me short. “I don't want to be a Major General. I want to be like you!!!!

To God be the Glory.
I have ONE burning request to my Maker, that God should give me the opportunity to sing my signature song: “M'atwan Awurade Anim…” at a function, covered, live, by CNN, beamed to the whole world……………

It is GREAT to be alive. To God be the Glory.

By Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey