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Opinions of Saturday, 24 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Effah-Dartey May Be Jumping the Gun

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Oct. 11, 2015

Ever since I got to know about his existence and moorings sometime around 2007, Capt. Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey (Rt.) has not impressed me any remarkably as a politician. Back then, he was among the ludicrous pack of some 17 presidential candidates gunning for the post of the then-lame-duck President John Agyekum-Kufuor. In that particular contest, the Berekum, Brong-Ahafo, native received such a sound beating it was almost a wonder he survived his bruises and broken ribs. I am, of course, speaking in terms of the purely figurative.

Anyway, as I vividly recall, about the only candidate who fared worse than Capt. Effah-Dartey was the shameless treasure-hunting Idiot-of-Irmo, South Carolina. And then just exactly a year ago, the retired soldier-lawyer contested for one of the administrative positions at the headquarters of the New Patriotic Party, vowing to make mincemeat of his rivals. I have forgotten precisely what post this talkative and blowhard party choirboy had run for. But what was refreshingly clear at the end of it all, was the fact that Capt. Effah-Dartey well appeared to have arrived at the sobering conclusion that he needed to play within his league, if he was to make any significant impact as a political featherweight. Here, too, of course, I had predicted well beforehand that the man was a goner. He would prove my words to have been very prophetic in no time. Well, my prediction was squarely based on the ominous fact of this rather impetuous candidate’s having begun counting his proverbial chickens well before the latter had been hatched, as the tired ancient maxim goes.

You see, for what anyone cares to know, Capt. Effah-Dartey may very well be a good lawyer, even a creative genius at that. But he readily comes off to me as a man who fatally lacks the sort of patience that comes with good lawyering. He has yet to learn what most good and experienced lawyers have already acquired as second nature. He has yet to learn the fact that good legal strategies are those kept off the table until the real game is in town. Which is why I was a bit disappointed in him and sorry for Justice Ayisi-Addo, the man who recently hired Capt. Effah-Dartey to help him parry off Hurricane Anas Aremeyaw Anas and the palpable prospect of Justice Ayisi-Addo’s not merely losing his job and career as a judge of the superior court, but also highly likely finding a berth for himself behind bars. I haven’t seen the Anas Videotape, which Lawyer Effah-Dartey claims depicts his client in the most admirable and even flattering terms, in that it shows Justice Aysis-Addo running Mr. Anas’ Tiger-Eye PI team, that had criminally sought to induce the respectable high court judge into accepting a kickback, in exchange for delivering a judicial travesty, out of his house.

Capt. Effah-Dartey further claims that this fact in of itself ought to have given Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood adequate grist to have exempted Justice Ayisi-Addo from the list of judges with a prima facie case established against them by the five-person committee established by the Chief Justice to examine Tiger-Eye PI’s evidentiary videotape. Curiously, however, Capt. Effah-Dartey does not find anything faulty with the decision by Chief Justice Wood to have Justice Ayisi-Addo cross-examined by the investigative panel. Instead, he has chosen to reserve his most lethal venom for Mr. Anas whose mode for rooting out corrupt Ghanaian judges from the bench he describes as “improper, unethical and [downright] immoral.” But even more curious, Capt. Effah-Dartey has just announced that he intends to sue Mr. Anas and his Tiger-Eye PI team for defamation, once his client has been cleared by the judicial panel.

Maybe Capt. Effah-Dartey ought to have sat down and soberly compared notes with Nana Akufo-Addo in order to figure out precisely how justice is routinely administered hereabouts the globe. I am in no way implying that justice, in the textbook definition of the term, is decidedly alien to postcolonial Ghanaian culture. Who knows? It just well may be. Nevertheless, what I am saying, or rather categorically implying, is that good lawyers often keep their playing cards very close to their vests.