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General News Thu, 24 May 2012

Prosecute “rotten” & indicted sports officials now – GII

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has called on the Minister of Youth and Sports, Kofi Humado, to take immediate action to prosecute all officials indicted in the Maputo Report in which officials allegedly engaged in malpractices during the organization of the 2011 All African Games in Mozambique.

The GII in a statement said acting on the recommendations of the committee that investigated the allegations will help bring sanity into sports administration in Ghana as well as move from the old habit of shelving such reports.

It said: “It is the hope of GII that the Honorable Minster will, acting through partner or subordinate institutions like the EOCO and the Attorney General, go the last leg by starting the process of using the appropriate legal means to assert the rights and claims of the state against these persons whose actions or inactions have been indicted by the Commission whiles at the same time giving them an unfettered opportunity to defend themselves against all allegations leveled against them as required under the Constitution. “

Below is the full statement:

Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) notes with great interest the submission of the report by a Committee set up by Hon. Kofi Humado, the Minister for Youth and Sports, to investigate alleged malpractices into the organisation of the All African Games which took place in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011. GII also notes with mixed reaction the fact that two of the key National Sports Authority officials indicted in the report have responded holding contrary views to what the report says. But perhaps, this has presented all parties concerned with a golden opportunity to substantiate their case or exonerate themselves, as the case may be, before a court of competent jurisdiction.

Over the years, events and numerous commissions and committees of enquiry into public malfeasance and fraudulent acts perpetrated by persons in trusted positions have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that corruption in sports administration is arguably second only to corruption in national politics. Sadly enough, hardly has any concrete actions been taken against wrong doers in most cases. GII has always called on governments and public bodies not only to investigate credible allegations of corruption but also to go further and act on the findings from such investigations. The work of the commissions and committees of enquiries will come to naught if no action is taken on their recommendations.

While GII congratulates the Honorable Minister for his effort to bring sanity into sports administration in particular and national life in general by establishing the committee of enquiry, it is the hope of GII that the Honorable Minster will, acting through partner or subordinate institutions like the EOCO and the Attorney General, go the last leg by starting the process of using the appropriate legal means to assert the rights and claims of the state against these persons whose actions or inactions have been indicted by the Commission whiles at the same time giving them an unfettered opportunity to defend themselves against all allegations leveled against them as required under the Constitution.

We at GII would want to prevent a situation where alleged offenders use technicalities to escape justice as it has happened in the past. The Honorable Minister and indeed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice has the moral and legal obligation to ensure that public money is not wasted by people in entrusted positions or through the establishment of commissions of no consequences. It is the hope of GII that the Honorable Minister will also act on all the credible recommendations of the Committee including meting out appropriate administrative sanctions against all persons found culpable as honour to the members of the Committee and as a sterling example to his colleague Ministers of State.

Specifically, the following amounts of money, which were alleged or found by the Committee to have either been misappropriated or misapplied, should be retrieved from the individuals concerned immediately:

The overpayment of GH¢48,804 to the Managing Director of Trafix Service Committee, Madam Bella Ahu;

The bill of $1,782,100 presented by a Mr. Adorkor that was paid;

The missing $32,100 which was meant to be paid as participating fees of Ghana’s Black Meteors and Black Princesses at the Games;

The total amount of GH¢356,725 voted by the government for the purchase of general kitting for the athletes and officials which was not spent for that purpose;

The amount of GH¢185,925 meant for the purchase of kits, equipment and accessories for the needs of individual sporting disciplines participating in the games out of which only GH¢44,000 was spent for that purpose;

The per diem allowances that were not paid to the athletes for the four days.

Furthermore, adequate compensation should also be recovered from Kwashie Tailors for the delayed delivery of the 205 suits ordered for the opening and closing ceremonies as they could not be used.

The weaknesses of internal control systems should also be immediately addressed. In fact, the Auditor General should undertake a forensic audit of the National Sports Authority as the Internal Audit department of the Council was also indicted in some of the fraudulent practices uncovered.

GII will continue to show keen interest in further developments of the case as they unfold and call on other anti-corruption organizations, particularly CHRAJ and EOCO to do the same. Signed

Linda Ofori-Kwafo (Mrs) – Ag. Executive Director **

Source: citifmonline