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Ghana Armed Forces Caught Up In Double Standard

Clears Air On Buipe Car-Snatching Syndicate But Silent On Solider With Fake Certificate

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) appears to be fast losing its accolade as one of the most respected institutions driven by discipline and integrity, as it has been caught picking and choosing which negative report to respond to based on the convenience and pleasure of the government.

The military, has been denying reports that one of the suspects arrested by the Police in the Northern Region, in the case involving a car snatching syndicate, is an army officer.

In a press release, signed by Acting Director, Public Relations, Commander Andy La-Anyane, GAF stated that none of their officers was involved in the robbery that led to the arrest of five persons, despite the seizure of uniforms and other military accoutrements from the suspects.

The denial comes months after the same outfit, had remained silent on the reports emerging from the court, trying some army senior officers on allegations of a coup plot that the key prosecution witness in the case had stolen a friend’s identity and certificates and gotten recruited into the army.

Staff Sergeant Awarf Kwaswo Sulley, who is the source of videos and audio recordings which formed the basis of the Akufo-Addo government’s claim against ACP Benjamin Agordzo, Dr Frederick Mac-Palm Mac Palm and eight others standing trial for High Treason, impersonated one Douglas Kwadwo Awarf, to gain entry into the military.

“Staff Sergeant Awarf”, who became the star prosecution witness in the ongoing coup trial, was also accused of murder in a dispute over land but the Ghana Armed Forces have kept a tight-lip over the two criminal offenses.

The real owner of the certificates used by “Sergeant Awarf”, by name Douglas Kwadwo Awarf, has since stepped out and broken his silence, about the troubles he has been encountering since that revelation was made that someone had used his certificates to join the army.

Interestingly, the Acting Director, Public Relations, Commander Andy La-Anyane, has busily been reacting to the busted fake soldier.

“The attention of the Ghana Armed Forces has been drawn to several videos and pictures on various social media platforms of the arrest of a car snatching syndicate at Buipe who are alleged to have attacked and snatched a car from a victim at Tamale, ” he said.

“In the said videos and pictures, one of the suspects is seen wearing military camouflage uniform and has been described variously as a soldier of the Ghana Armed Forces. We wish to state categorically that the suspect is not a soldier of the Ghana Armed Forces,” GAF stated.

This, follows the arrest of five suspected car snatchers and armed robbers by the Police in the Northern Region.

Addressing the media in Tamale, the Northern Regional Police Commander, COP Timothy Yoosa Bonga, said one of the suspects, Yussif Mustapha, at the time of arrest, was fully dressed in a military uniform with the rank of Lance Corporal, adorned with an army headquarters lanyard and armed with a military falcon pistol loaded with 9 rounds of 9MM ammunition.

He said two Toyota Camry vehicles, one black and another with a fake registering number; AS-8445-19, were among the cars in the suspects’ possession.

COP Bonga, added that three sets of military uniforms, two military bags, two sets of Police tactical uniforms, one ballistic helmet for the police among other military accoutrements were found in the black salon car.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces has expressed concern about the rising numbers of civilians who impersonate officers by wearing military uniforms or posting fake pictures of themselves as military officers to defraud unsuspecting Ghanaians.

“The unauthorised sale of military uniforms and military pattern gadgets by some vendors contributes to this state of affairs and is inimical to national security,” they added.

GAF stated that they are ready to cooperate with the Police to unravel the source of the military uniform in this car syndicate incident.

This, they believe, would help stop the unauthorised sale of military uniforms across the country.

“The general public is advised once again to be circumspect in dealing with persons who pose as military personnel,” GAF added.

On November 3, last year, media reports became rife on how a military man by the name Sergeant Sulley Awarf, who is a witness in the coup-plotting case, revealed to the court that he used someone’s certificate to enrol into the Ghana Armed Forces.

He explained that he had a Second Class Diploma in Woodwork from the Bechem Technical Institute in 2004, after having entered the school with his JSS certificate.

The sergeant, who was planted among the coup plotters to capture videos of their activities, admitted this during cross-examination in court.

But Douglas Kwadwo Awarf, has broken his silence on the matter, calling on the Inspector General of Police to have Sergeant Sulley arrested.

He explained how devastating an effect this impersonation has had on his personal life and those of his family.

“I have had the privilege of following court proceedings in the High Treason case currently before the High Court, Accra (Financial Division 2) where my impersonator is Prosecution Witness 3 (PW3). As a matter of fact, PW3 admitted during cross-examination that he did not join the Ghana Army with his own certificate.

“Please note that because I have become aware of the developments or issues surrounding my impersonation by this serving soldier of the Ghana Armed Forces, my family house at Bechem, my parents, my former schools etc., in recent weeks have been inundated with visits by security personnel including soldiers, policemen, BNI officers etc., all in an attempt to compromise me or my family or the school authorities,” he said in a petition written to the IGP.

Douglas Awarf, continued that this act of impersonation is also greatly affecting his ability to live peacefully without having to look over his shoulders constantly.

“That by virtue of this impersonation and its associated misconduct by the said soldier, including his further admission during cross examination that he shot and killed someone in self-defense at Nsakina (on the Accra-Nsawam road), myself and my entire family are being accused of murder.

“That my life is now under threat because of some utterances by officers doing the bidding of my impersonator, that the conduct of the suspect (my impersonator herein, his agent, assigns or officers/employers) will clearly bring the administration of justice into disrepute and ought to be checked,” he said. He therefore called on the IGP to help save the situation by getting his impersonator arrested.

“I am therefore humbly requesting for your timely intervention to arrest my impersonator and have him prosecuted,” he wrote. Meanwhile, back in court, a hard drive containing audio-visual recordings of activities of the alleged coup plotters standing trial at a High Court has been admitted as evidence amidst objections by lawyers for the accused persons.

The lawyers of the accused had argued that their objections were grounded on the originality, authenticity, and relevance of the recordings, as well as breach of the accused persons’ right to privacy, reports citinewsroom.com.

These reasons, however, were not enough to convince the court even as it ruled that the said recordings pass the admissibility test.

Also, the court, presided over by Justice Serwa Botwe, said that since the matter is in the public interest, relative to the seriousness of the charges, it was exercising its discretion under Article 18 of the Constitution, admitting the secretly recorded audio and videos.

Ten persons, including three civilians, six military personnel, and a senior police officer, are facing charges of treason felony and conspiracy to commit treason felony in a case where they are alleged to have wanted to throw the country into a state of instability, destabilize the state and to topple the government.

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