General News of 2014-07-15

Commission of Inquiry will compel witnesses – Ayariga

Minister for Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga says the decision by his ministry to convert the three-man committee set up to investigate the Black Stars’ debacle at the just ended 2014 World Cup into a Commission of Inquiry is to allow it to “compel witnesses and compel the production of evidence”.

“We have come to a conclusion that the public will prefer a commission of inquiry; generally there is a push for a higher level body than a ministerial committee,” he told Eyewitness News on Monday.

Mr. Ayariga informed Parliament on Monday about the conversion of the ministerial committee that was established last week into a Presidential Commission with the powers of a High Court.

According to him, a Presidential Commission will ensure that people are compelled to give evidence during the investigations.

“We’ve had to change our minds later in the process and have a commission of inquiry instead; and I can assure you that what largely informed the process is our own observation of public discussions and what Ghanaians will prefer,” he stated.

Mr. Ayariga further explained the Commission of Inquiry will also allow prosecutions if adverse findings are established.

Ghanaians have called on government to investigate the former Minister for Sports, his Deputy and officials of the Ghana football Association (GFA) after a series of scandals hit the team and the nation over the appearance fees and indiscipline in the team’s camp.

The Black Stars players threatened to boycott one of their group stages match if government failed to pay them their appearance fees.

This forced the government to airlift three million dollars to Brazil to pay the players. The act caused huge furore in Ghana with many questioning government’s decision to send the money at the time the economy was in decline.

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