Senior military officer makes history with PhD from top UK University
Emmanuel Sakyi Afriyie, a 25-year-old employee in the banking industry, found himself in a troubling situation when he was accused of committing serious offenses such as theft and conspiracy.
Emmanuel worked as a contract staff at Absa Bank’s Osu Branch, where he had access to customers’ bank accounts and their hard-earned money.
Unfortunately, it is alleged that he took advantage of this position of trust to engage in illegal activities. On a more positive note, Major Patrick Peprah Obuobi, a senior officer in the Ghanaian Army, has accomplished an impressive feat by obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree in International Relations from the prestigious University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom.
This remarkable academic achievement reflects Major Patrick Peprah Obuobi’s commitment and successful completion of the demanding academic and research requirements necessary for such a prestigious honor.
Founded in 1413, the University of St Andrews holds the distinction of being Scotland’s oldest university and the third oldest in the United Kingdom.
Known for its long-standing tradition of academic excellence, St Andrews has surpassed even Oxford and Cambridge in the Guardian University Guide 2023, securing the top position among UK universities.
Furthermore, in 2021, the University of St Andrews achieved the highest ranking in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
This marked a significant milestone as it was the first time in the 30-year history of the league tables that a university other than Oxford or Cambridge claimed the top position.
The University of St Andrews boasts an impressive list of notable alumni, including the Prince of Wales, Prince William, and Kate Middleton. It was at St Andrews where Prince William and Kate Middleton first met.
Dr. Obuobi’s doctoral studies at St Andrews were financially supported by the highly prestigious and competitive British Government Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) Scheme.
The scheme, administered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), has provided opportunities for over 30,000 talented scholars from the 56-nation Commonwealth to pursue higher education and contribute to sustainable development through their exceptional academic abilities since its establishment in 1960.
As a serving officer in the Ghanaian Army, Major Obuobi was chosen as part of the 2018 cohort to undertake his doctoral studies. His research focused on defense, intelligence, diplomacy, and conflict studies, with a specific emphasis on United Nations (UN) peacekeeping intelligence, a politically sensitive subject.
The objective of his research was to address the intricate challenges within the contemporary international security landscape.
This aligns with the CSC’s primary theme of global peace, security, and governance, which aims to develop knowledge and skills that strengthen peace and security to build resilient societies at various levels: national, regional, or international.
Prior to pursuing his PhD, Dr. Obuobi was granted the British Government’s Chevening Scholarship, also managed by the FCDO, to pursue a master’s degree.
The Chevening Scholarship targets emerging leaders from around the world who possess professional experience, leadership qualities, and a strong commitment to driving positive change.
In 2016, he obtained a Master of Arts degree in Intelligence and International Security with distinction from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.
Dr. Obuobi’s academic journey began at the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School (PRESEC), Legon, where he received numerous awards, including recognition as the best student in mathematics and a certificate for outstanding performance in the 2003 West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) Examination.
His academic excellence was also recognised during his junior high school at Base Workshop Basic School in Burma Camp, becoming the overall best student and the senior boys’ prefect.
Inspired by his father, who served in the Ghanaian Airforce, Major Obuobi chose to pursue a military career and was commissioned as an Army Officer in 2006.
During his training at the Ghana Military Academy (GMA), he received the prestigious Presidential Sword of Honour, awarded to the overall best graduating cadet, symbolising leadership, academic excellence, and exceptional performance.
Additionally, he also excelled in tactics and won the top prize for the best Commanding Officer’s research paper.
Throughout his career, Dr. Obuobi has received numerous academic and professional accolades, consistently emerging as the top candidate in practical promotion examinations and junior officers’ career course.
Dr. Obuobi, driven by his commitment to academic excellence, successfully obtained a First Class Honours Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in Administration from the University of Ghana, achieving an impressive GPA of 3.8.
As a dedicated scholar and researcher, he actively sought opportunities to increase the visibility of his research and publications.
During his master’s degree, his outstanding research paper on the oversight of Ghana’s security and intelligence agencies was published in the highly respected International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.
Furthermore, he has a forthcoming book chapter titled Contemporary Intelligence in Africa in the Routledge Studies in Intelligence, which explores the role of Ghana’s intelligence agencies in counterterrorism, the fight against violent extremism, and radicalization.
In 2011, as a Lieutenant, he successfully completed a Military Intelligence Branch Officers course at the United States Army Intelligence School and Center of Excellence in Fort Huachuca, where he was inducted into the Military Intelligence Corps.
Throughout his career, Dr. Obuobi has actively contributed to several United Nations peacekeeping missions, including those in La Cote D’Ivoire, Lebanon, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Attaining a doctoral degree, regarded as the pinnacle of academic achievement, is expected to enhance Dr. Obuobi’s professional contributions to the Ghanaian military, Ghana’s defense and security agenda, as well as the realm of international peace and security.
This accomplishment carries particular significance in an era of global uncertainty, where there is an increasing need to strengthen the professional capacity and competence of security professionals.
Dr. Obuobi’s motivation for pursuing this academic path stems from a quote by Austin L. Miller, prominently displayed at the entrance of the Military Academy and Training Schools, which reads, “A man’s flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge” (adopted from the United States Airforce Academy).
Inspired by this quote since his enlistment into the Ghana Military Academy in 2006, he embarked on a lifelong journey of academic pursuit. Graduating from the University of St. Andrews signifies the fulfillment of this lifelong dream.
Dr. Obuobi expressed deep gratitude to the British Government and the British High Commission in Accra for providing him with the opportunity to obtain two highly competitive scholarships.
He also acknowledged the support of the High Command of Ghana’s Armed Forces for embracing academic pursuits as part of his career progression. Committed to fulfilling the requirements of the scholarships, Dr. Obuobi is eager to utilize the knowledge he has acquired to shape research, policy, and practice to strengthen Ghana’s defense and security systems.
He aspires to become a change maker, both locally and globally, in his professional and academic field, by joining the network of influential Commonwealth scholars and Chevening alumni.
On the other hand, Emmanuel Afriyie, the 25-year-old banker, is facing serious charges of embezzlement and conspiracy. The Chronicle newspaper reported that Emmanuel is accused of embezzling an astonishing amount of GH¢1,209,304.69 from various customers, including notable individuals such as former Inspector General of Police Ernest Ako and retired High Court judge Justice Anthony Kofi Adada. Several other customers, including William Joe Frimpong, Rev. Theodore Baba Hackman, Esther Marian Hackman, Ekua Ewuduwa Dadzie, and Rev. Cynthia Patricia Asamoah, were also named as victims of Emmanuel’s fraudulent activities.
Emmanuel’s scheme involved transferring funds from his victims’ accounts to multiple recipients, totaling up to 17 individuals. Notably, one of the beneficiaries was the girlfriend of his alleged accomplice, Cecil Nyamesem Agyarkwa, which suggests Cecil’s involvement in the scheme. However, there were additional individuals implicated in the charges, namely Richard Aikins
, Michael Tweneboah Oppong, Fouad Mohammed, and Caleb Bandoh, who were also accused of theft and conspiracy.
As the seriousness of Emmanuel’s offenses became evident, further charges were filed against him, including forgery of documents and falsifying accounts. In total, he faced 13 charges, illustrating the extent of his alleged criminal activities.
While the court granted bail to all the accused individuals except for Emmanuel Afriyie, who remained in custody, certain conditions were set for those released on bail. These conditions required them to report to the police twice a week until the next hearing, ensuring their presence and cooperation throughout the ongoing investigation.
During this time, the police continued their thorough investigation, diligently pursuing leads and gathering evidence against all individuals involved in Emmanuel Afriyie’s alleged crime. The authorities were determined to hold everyone accountable for their actions and uncover any potential connections or accomplices.
The court scheduled the next hearing for June 26, 2023, indicating that the legal process would continue in the near future. Until then, the accused individuals, both those on bail and Emmanuel still in custody, would have to await further developments in their case and prepare for the upcoming court proceedings that would determine their fate.