THE Ghana Armed Forces High Command has cautioned the media to be circumspect in their reportage on the Military Board of Inquiry involving Col. K. Damoah, Director of Manpower Planning and matters relating to the recruitment into the Ghana Armed Forces.
A press statement signed by Col. E.W.K. Nibo, Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), and released in Accra, said the Ghana Armed Forces had observed in recent weeks, media publications which had turned into propaganda war on behalf of Col. Damoah stemming from the suspension of a recruit training programme for about 420 potential army recruits at the Army Recruit Training School.
It said the Ghana Armed Forces would not have made any comment on the media publications and allow its legal procedures to go on “but for the Ghanaian Chronicle” scurrilous and malicious publication on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 edition of the paper with a banner headline, “Col. Damoah Tells Military Inquiry-Rawlings has polarised Army through unguarded statements”.
The statement said the Board of Inquiry never met on the said date the Chronicle reporter stated in his story, in which Col. Damoah purportedly chastised formerPresident J.J. Rawlings for making ethnic statements.
“The Armed Forces would like to inform the public and the media fighting for Col. Damoah that the Board of Inquiry never met on Saturday, February 28, 2009,” it said.
The statement said, “the publication was totally false, unfounded, wicked and intended to mislead the good people of Ghana.”
It said Col. Damoah appeared before the Board twice, and on one occasion declined to be sworn in and presented a letter objecting to the presence of an officer on the Board.
“The second appearance was at the invitation of a newly Constituted Board on Friday February 27, 2009 at which Col. Damoah appeared with his counsel, Nkrabea Effah-Dartey and presented another letter which challenged the authority of the Chief of Staff to convene a Board of Inquiry.”
The statement said the Ghana Armed Forces had noted with concern the fabricated stories in the newspapers any time Col. Damoah appeared before it and was at a loss as to which forum Col. Damoah made those statements about the ex-President when he had so far not given any statement to the Board.
The statement said the Boards of Inquiry had been with the Ghana Armed Forces since its establishment and are set up as fact-finding administrative mechanisms to provide the necessary information and facts to Higher Command to enable the Command to take decisions.
“The media must cease fire and refrain from undermining the discipline and integrity of the Board and desist from subjecting it to the negative publicity and the misinformation that individuals or agents of the officer are championing,” it said.