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General News
da Rocha Is Dead 2/24/2010

Mr B. J. da Rocha, an astute lawyer and politician, is dead, the Daily Graphic has learnt. The cause of his death is not immediately known, but sources speculate it may be due to ill health.

As a lawyer, Mr da Rocha made significant contributions to legal education in the country, having become a founder lecturer at the Ghana School of Law (GSL) when it was opened in 1958, subsequently becoming the first Ghanaian Director of the school.

He also served as the Secretary of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) from 1958 to 1966 and was honoured in 1993 by the GBA for his immense contributions to legal education and the legal profession in Ghana.

As a politician, Mr da Rocha was a stalwart in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), having been the principal actor in the formation of the party, after which he became its first National Chairman.

He was well known as a strict, tough, frank, affable and principled person who espoused his views without fear or favour. And, yet, he had a great sense of humour.

Mr da Rocha is fondly remembered for stirring political controversies, one of which was his famous statement calling the bluff of Alan Kyerematen to resign from the party.

That was when he (da Rocha) has been requested to resolve an impasse between Mr Kyerematen and the NPP’s 2008 presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, which impasse prompted Mr Kyerematen to publicly announce his resignation from the NPP. He later rescinded that decision, though.

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