Ghana Armed Forces Less than 48 hours after objections were raised about the membership of a Board of Inquiry (BOI) constituted to investigate the selection of the 420 potential recruits into the Ghana Army, the Military High Command has demonstrated that it had actually fumbled.
The command lost the first round of impending legal tug-of-war when, in a tacit admission, it corrected a number of anomalies and reconstituted the Col. B. Musah Board of Inquiry.
But in what looked like an acrimonious decision, the military has removed the complainant in the saga, Col. Kwadwo Damoah, as Director, Manpower/Personnel, even before the investigations begin.
The new board however would be without Lt. Col. R.S. Nyaka, who both Damoah and Capt. (Rtd) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey described as an interested party.
He has been replaced by Lt. Col. J. Hagan of the Army Headquarters.
A reconstitution order sighted by DAILY GUIDE says: “Following some objections raised by a witness on the membership of the Board and other observations on the convening order, vide reference 'E', the convening order (reference 'C') was cancelled, vide reference 'F' to enable the objections/observations raised to be addressed. All the issues raised in reference 'E' have now been addressed, and a fresh BOI is therefore being convened to conduct investigations into the 2008 general recruitment exercise for the first batch of potential army recruits”.
In the case of the removal of Damoah, who is now without a portfolio, a confidential document signed by Commodore T.S. Appiah indicates that the removal took retrospective effect.
Even though the letter was dated 13th February 2009, Col Damoah's removal took effect from February 12 and he is replaced by Col. T.N. Ba-Taa-Banah.
“The Following Officers are posted to units /appointments stated against their names with effect from 12th February 2009. Alpha - Col K. Damoah to army HQ. Bravo – Col. T.N. Ba-Taa-Banah to GHQ as DMP”.
Col Damoah is one of the finest soldiers in the Ghana Army today, but he is being sacrificed to satisfy a grotesque agenda. A pen picture of his capabilities painted by Col. C.S. Faith, British Director of Studies at the Ghana Armed Forces Command Staff College tells it all.
He wrote as part of his recommendations:
“He is rated amongst the top five students on the course and fully merits his B grading. Damoah is an exceptionally competent, all round officer, with the potential to do extremely well. Major Damoah would do well in any demanding staff appointment except BM in a Brigade Headquarters. He has potential as an MA. He is recommended to return to the Staff College as a member of the Directing Staff”.
On the 8th of August, the then commandant, Brigadier R.K. Agbemasu, also wrote:
“Kwadwo is warmly congratulated for being the proud winner of two major awards, namely the GIMPA prize for the top student in the Post Graduate Certificate in Public Administration examinations and also for the second best research paper in the Commandant's Essay.
“Maj Damoah has mastered the rudiments of staff work and staff function; this coupled with his demonstrated abilities and capacity to work above himself and under pressure makes him well suited for a demanding A/Q staff appointment”.
It would be recalled that the formation of a BOI was announced on 6th February, 2009 by the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier-General R. Winful, to look into the process of recruitment for 2008.
Col. Damoah was led in evidence by Capt. (Rtd) Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey, former Deputy Interior Minister, and the duo contested the constitution of the board and again exposed certain anomalies.
Less than 48 hours after that brilliant performance, Damoah was removed.
In a related development, the Minister-designate for Defence, Lt. General J.H. Smith has told the Vetting Committee of Parliament that the essence of ordering investigations into the 2008 recruitment was because the applicants had fake certificates and driving licences.
But observers say the Minister-designate had pre-empted the outcome of the BOI, more so when the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) are yet to validate those allegations.
A number of soldiers are peeved at what they see as the politicization of the military as they allege that arrangements are far advanced to pack the forces with National Democratic Congress (NDC) loyalists.
By Bennett Akuaku