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Soldiers clash with police over ‘misrepresentations’ in court

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has vehemently denied claims by police prosecutors in court that the GAF refused to produce Captain Abel Nartey, an officer posted at the Training and Doctrine Command in Teshie, accused of involvement in a recruitment scam worth over GH₵130k, to assist police investigations.

According to the GAF, these “misrepresentations” to the court led to an arrest warrant being issued for Captain Abel Nartey, and the police should be warned not to damage the reputation of the army in the eyes of the public.

However, police maintained that they wrote to the military, even sending a wireless message, but have yet to receive a response from the military, urging them to lower their “egos” because “they are not above the law.”

On July 4, 2024, the Accra Circuit Court, presided over by His Excellency Samuel Bright Acquah, issued a warrant of arrest against the military officer. This came after the court was informed that the military had ignored efforts by the police, including wireless messages, to get the accused to come forward to assist in investigations.

Captain Nartey, who was charged alongside Clement Ayomah, also a military officer stationed at Camp Burma, on two counts (conspiracy and fraud by false pretense), has pleaded not guilty.

Captain Nartey, who was on the run when the case was first called on July 4, prompting the court to issue an arrest warrant at the request of the prosecution, was brought before the court by the military on Tuesday, July 9.

Colonel Felix Korbieh, Director of Legal Affairs for the Ghana Armed Forces, told the court that the police misrepresentation against the Armed Forces “is in poor taste”.

“The Ghana Armed Forces closely followed the developments leading up to the arrest warrant on social media and elsewhere,” he said, adding: “The Armed Forces are of the view that the misrepresentation made by the prosecution against the Ghana Armed Forces is in poor taste,” Colonel Korbieh told the court.

“I, as Director of Legal Affairs of the Army, never received any message regarding A2 (Captain Abel Nartey), nor did the Military Police receive the same as alleged,” he told the court.

Colonel Korbieh recalled that the only message the Military Police received, dated April 12, 2024, was a correspondence from the police inviting A2 (Captain Abel Nartey) to the Police CID Regional Headquarters.

After reading the content of the letter, he said: “From April to date, the Army has never received any wireless message to present to A2 (Captain Abel Nartey).”

“And I challenge the prosecution to submit the same,” Colonel Korbieh told the court.

“The reputation of the military has been damaged,” he said, adding that “the military is in no way condoning crime.”

“Therefore, we wish to state for the record that no message other than the one mentioned was received and that the Armed Forces did not hand over A2 (Captain Abel Nartey) to the police for investigation,” he said.

He noted that police misrepresentation led to the granting of the arrest warrant against the second defendant (Captain Abel Nartey).

He said the police’s actions had “damaged the image of the military” and “should be redeemed in the same way they were damaged on social media.”

He said the court should warn the police against making such misrepresentations.

Police refutations:

Chief Inspector Wisdom Alorwu, the prosecutor, said: “Our position is that messages were sent to the military for the production of the accused, and they failed.”

While he decided that “I will not react to what the military has told the court,” he did not oppose the request to revoke the arrest warrant.

Maxwell Oppong, another of the police prosecutors who acts as a friend of the court and a deputy superintendent of police, said: “We are all officers, and when one gets into trouble with the laws because of their egos, they abuse them.”

He added: “Despite all the letters we (the police) wrote to the Ministry of Defence, they did not respond to us.”

“It is unprofessional on the part of our colleagues (military officers) on the other side” and “they think they are above the law,” DSP Oppong criticised the army officers.

The Circuit Court, presided over by His Lordship Samuel Bright Acquah, said that no one is above the laws of the country, including himself as a judge and any other person, including the President of the country.

The court later quashed the arrest warrant issued against the military officer, Captain Abel Nartey.

EIB Network legal affairs correspondent Murtala Inusah, who was at the court, reported that Captain Abel Nartey was accompanied to the court by a group of high-ranking military officers.

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