‘Punishing GFA for few people’s crimes wrong’ – PPP man
The Director of Operations for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Nana Ofori Owusu, has suggested that the government erred in pushing for an interim injunction on the activities of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
He argued that the Ghana football, in its entirety, need not suffer for the actions of the few caught in investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ uncovering of rot in the sector.
“We have sat in this country and seen improprieties of ministers of state at ministries. Have we disbanded government for the act of one person,” Mr. Ofori Owusu questioned on The Big Issue. The investigative journalist caught many Ghanaian FA officials and referees in alleged match-fixing deals.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, who has since resigned as President of the GFA was also caught on tape plotting to fleece the FA of sponsorship money while promising supposed investors access to President Akufo Addo for a fee.
He even went ahead to outline a blue print laden with details on how to bribe politicians in strategic positions in a bid to gain control of key projects within the country. He has since been banned for 90-days by Fifa pending further action.
Other top football administrators were also seen taking money to influence call-ups for players into the national team and more playing time.
This has culminated in an interim injunction on all the activities of the GFA, starting June 12, 2018.
The Attorney General’s Department made its argument using Act 179, The Companies Code Act and Act 180, The Official Liquidation Act.
The GFA is registered under Section 9(1)(b) of the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179).
The Attorney General’s Department also cited the Dzamefe Commission’s report in its argument.
But the PPP executive contended that the corruption uncovered by Anas was “not specifically a GFA matter… the referees, did they take money in the name of GFA?”
Mr. Ofori Owusu also questioned if the government would dissolve a “company because an individual in the company went and acted in a way that is not within the law?”
Beyond this, he also said there had been no convictions in the matter, to serve as a basis for government actions.
“We have convicted these people and we have ascribed to them illegalities for which only the court can pronounce… Allow for the verdict to come out. Based on the verdict, when you are making this decision [to dissolve the GFA], it is rational.”
Social commentator, Sydney Casely Hayford, also speaking on The Big Issue, however defended government’s actions.
He said, “the principle [behind the interpretation of the Act] is that the purpose for which the organisation has set up has now been bastardized so much to the point that its purpose is now illegal and therefore in its entirety, it is not going to be allowed to carry on that way.”
Scope of injunction
The order of the court bars the GFA and its officials from carrying out all official duties at least for ten days.
This includes the organization of football matches, the selling of the association’s assets, the appointment and election of officials and other official duties.
In her argument before the court, the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, contended that GFA was being used for illegal purposes.
The injunction, according to the AG, is, therefore, necessary to protect the public.