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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Columnist: Tay, Wilson

Effah Darteh Nkrabea’s Paranoia in the Eye of the Tiger

By Wilson Tay

The lawyer Effah Darteh Nkrabea has the moral obligation to offer quality for money in the impending defence of his client who was caught in the web of the investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI. But the comments emanating from the lawyer in opposition to the revelations implicating his client arouse questions as to whether our learned friend stands for principles or he is just a mere orchestrator of mischief in his noble profession. Those who engage the legal services of Effah Darteh Nkrabea’s law chamber may know what he stands for and how his services may be indispensable to people who trample on their conscience to seek justice that they do not merit. It may be convincing to infer that those who are caught pants down with even traces of their crimes blinking dazzlingly on them would find succour in Nkrabea Chambers.
To begin with, that lawyer is wearing the prefix ‘Captain’, a title he is legally debarred from using but he does not have the moral compulsion to denounce it. The use of a title which one does not merit signifies self-denial or an attempt to restore a lamentable lost ego. The lawyer’s labelling of himself a military ‘Captain’ or his oblivious accordance of the title by the media without any attempt on his part to denounce it speaks of him the least, a lawyer who defies a legal order in favour of what hallows his individualism?
Effah Darteh’s disposition to the defence of armed robbers and drug peddlers which he proudly disclosed publicly may be gratifying to him in that imaginary world in which he resides. In the realm of his disclosure however, he did not allude to those accused of armed robbery and drug peddling but rather emphatically to ‘armed robbers and drug peddlers’. There is no disbelief that he is one of those who rely largely on the exploitation of technicalities and errors in judiciary proceedings to push on their defences rather than allowing the truth to be established for the delivery of fair judgement. So, the likes of Effah Darteh never stand for and are never bothered about the truth but the nature of justice that brings dough into their hands.
The skillful journalist Anas had devised an investigative approach which worked perfectly in exposing bribery in the judiciary. By his method, known judges were captured on camera negotiating and collecting bribes and even honouring their parts of the contracts. This is the truth that was witnessed by those who watched the exposé. As humans, we all have the natural tendency to bribe and to accept bribe but the law, religion, or moral convictions are the agents that restrain us. The tendency to give or to accept bribe is not a domain of any particular profession or social grouping, therefore, we cannot assume that judges are incorruptible.
Investigation of the moral standing of our judges who are the authorities to the pronouncement of legal culpability or otherwise, the prescription of punishment to the guilty, and the delivery of freedom to the innocent is what the journalist had done and which all well-meaning Ghanaians have hailed as a novelty. Unfortunately, there are those lawyers who have the feeling that Anas was wrong in gathering evidence of corruption against the judges. A few lawyers are critical of Anas’ exposé but at a niveau which imports a liberal understanding that the dents on the credibility of the judiciary are detrimental to the continuous effective dispensation of justice in Ghana. However, Effah Darteh’s exclusive passionate and vehement condemnations of the journalist, his determination to discredit his effort, and the attempt to render him vulnerable stand out clearly for scrutiny.
Lawyer Effah Darteh can never come to terms with Anas’ offer of bribe to the judges and to turn round and catch them on tape whilst they were accepting it. It is a shot far beyond the boundary of the law that he well understands. Again, he does not understand why the journalist clads his face, and he keeps insisting that he would ensure that the journalist lowers his hood if he is to cross-examine him in the dock. Effah Darteh seems more interested in the method by which evidence was obtained about his client than the substance of the evidence against him. The journalist’s method of dressing is also very disturbing to the lawyer even though others see nothing wrong with it. This shows that in court, Effah Darteh will distressingly preoccupy himself with questions as to why a picture or video was taken of a judge receiving bribe when a prior permission would have enabled him exhibit a better pose in front of the camera. He will also be teeming with questions regarding the journalist’s hood which has remained a source of great discomfort to him.
Our learned friend Effah Darteh Nkrabea does not only overwork his brain and nerves in the legal profession, he also has a basketful of illusions on his head. No doubt, he made an attempt to stand for elections as a flagbearer of a political party to enable him stand to be elected as the president of the Republic of mother Ghana. Well, he is one person whose image in the mirror looks totally different to him from how others see him. One can imagine how he had woken up a morning preceding that occasion, looked at his muscles and asked why he could not become the president of this country. When his candidacy was disqualified, he robed as a choirmaster and led the delegates in a gospel of the Lord to rejuvenate his punctured ego. His venturing for presidential candidature tells how daring he is but it also reveals his lack of the needed tools to determine the chances of events. But what is most relevant and significant to note in that ordeal and his current assignment however is his ability to detect the presence of pearls in mounds of filth.
The lawyer Effah Darteh was once a member of the Ghana Armed Forces and rose to the rank of Captain before being ejected. What is becoming clear however is that, upon his compulsory retirement by which he was to discontinue the use his rank, he never took his time to reflect on why he was rejected by the military community. Perhaps, he would have avoided the contemplation of ever becoming the president of Ghana and concentrate on basic things that can improve his perceptions of issues that are brought into his province.
In the whole gamut of the bribery scandal, the greater part of our population of Ghana is happy that at least, a hidden problem has been unearthed through the prodigy of one man and his team who were preoccupied in that innovation for want of morality, integrity and decency in our society. From the world which Effah Darteh Nkrabea belongs, such an investigation is dishonourable and such tendencies to expose crimes even though offering him a contract for his legal services, must be nipped in the bud. Now, my humble questions regarding Effah Darteh’s passionate complaints about Anas’ novelty and exposé are: Is the bribery exposure in the judiciary a threat to the lawyer’s modus operandi in the defence of armed robbers and drug peddlers? Will further investigations result in bringing back into the courts, clients whose releases he had secured? Is his desire to see the face of Anas meant to arm him with a needed caution? Maybe the poor old man Effah Darteh Nkrabea is becoming wrought and enslaved by the issues bothering his mind.
Wilson Tay is an environmentalist. Email: