After forcing the re-constitution of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) investigating the qualification of the 420 army potential recruits, Captain Nkrabeah Effah-Darteh (Rtd) has again raised objection to the convening authority, forcing the abrupt closure of the board.
Effah Darteh, who is the Counsel for Col K. Damoah, the former Director of Manpower and Personnel, on Saturday, supported his objection with Armed Forces Act, 1962 (Act 105), Armed Forces Regulations (Administration) Volume One, 1992 Constitution of Ghana, Evidence Decree, 1975 (NRCD 323).
The Chronicle gathered that the board dissolved to seek directions from the convening authority.He protested against the authority of the Chief of Staff of the Army, Brigadier-General R Winful to convene a Board of Inquiry into 2008 first batch recruitment of the army potential recruits.
He quoted Section 10 of the Armed Forces Act, 1962 (Act105) as “The President or any person authorized in that behalf by him or any prescribed person may, where he or such person thinks it expedient that information on any matter connected with the government, discipline, administration or functions of the Armed Forces or affecting any officer or men of the said Forces is necessary, convene a Board of Inquiry for investigating and reporting on such matter. That Board of Inquiry shall be constituted, and its procedure shall be governed, in accordance with regulations made under this Act.”
Captain Effah-Darteh expatiated that Chapter 21 of the Armed Forces Regulations Volume One covers Summary Investigations and Boards of Inquiry and stipulates persons or authorities that could convene BOI in the Ghana Armed Forces.
The Regulation quotes “(2) A board of inquiry may be convened by (a) President (b) The Chief of Defence Staff (C) An Officer commanding a Command (D) An Officer commanding a Formation (e) A Commanding Officer.
He further indicated that Chapter one of the Armed Forces Regulations Volume one which covers introduction and interpretations defines a formation under Article 1.02 (xxxi) as “Formation means a number of stations or units including a headquarters, grouped under a single Commander.”
“With all due respect, clearly Brig-Gen R Winful is purporting to be a formation Commander, that is, an officer commanding a formation since he is not the President, the Chief of Defence Staff, an Officer commanding a Command nor a Commanding Officer,” he humbly submitted.
He maintained that Brig-General Winful was not qualified to convene a BOI in the Ghana Armed Forces unless there were other Legislations, Regulations, Orders and Rules that he might wish to see to advise himself appropriately.
He challenged the BOI to show him evidence of the authority of Brig-Gen Winful to convene the BOI per the tenets of the citations.
The former military man was quick to add that his action should not be seen as delay tactics but rather should be deemed as one of his duties as a lawyer to see to the development of the law for the establishment of a just and free society required of a democracy.
He drew the attention of the Board to the fact that in the light of the forgoing all actions and activities of the BOI would be void and illegal.
When The Chronicle contacted Brig-Gen Winful, he declined to comment on the grounds that it was improper to comment on a board he had commissioned.
He subsequently referred this reporter to contact the Public Relations Director, Colonel E. Nibo but all efforts to contact him proved futile since he has failed to respond to his phone calls.
Captain Effah-Darteh told The Chronicle that he was informed by the President of the Board, Mr. Musah, that he would relay his objection to the convening authority.
Asked when they were expecting the response, he said till further notice.