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Sports News Thu, 4 Sep 2014

'My baby coy won Brazil contract'

The Director of Finance of Kenpong Travel and Tours (KT&T), George Ernest Amoako, yesterday, appeared before the Commission of Inquiry probing into the World Cup fiasco, and told Justice Senyo Dzamefe that his firm was born a few days after the Back Stars had qualified for the global showpiece in Brazil.

KT&T, he argued, was incorporated on October 28, 2013, just a few days after Back Stars had qualified for the 2014 World Cup by beating Egypt.

According to him, although KT&T applied for registration as an entity on October 11, 2013, four days before the Ghana-Egypt qualifying match, it was incorporated a few days after the country had beaten the Pharaohs of Egypt and qualified for the global showpiece.

Mr. Amoako’s statement was in response to a probing question from the Lead Counsel for the Commission , Jonathan Acquah, as to when KT&T was incorporated.

The comment, however, did not escape sharp criticism from the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Senyo Dzamefe who argued that the date on which KT&T was incorporated, meant it had no experience in the travel and tour business.

When the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, appeared before the Commission a fortnight ago, there were issues on why the committees used Selective Procedure of the Procurement Act in selecting the Travel and Tour agencies.

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It was established by Mr. Ankrah that the Selective Procedure he adopted was among the various procedures in the Procurement Act in awarding a contract.

According to him, in selecting the travel and tour agencies they opted for, work experience and financial capacities were critical.

Asked whether any of the shareholders of KT&T relates the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Amoako answered in the negative.

However, he revealed that it was him, the Director of Finance for KT&T, who is related to Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah. He told the Commission that Mr. Ankrah was his cousin.

When the second witness for KT&T, the Project Manager, Fred Kofi Poku, also appeared before the Commission, he said the Planning Committee set up by the ministry to organise supporters to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup muddled their plans for the supporters during the competition.

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According to Mr. Poku, had it not been the conduct of the planning committee, all the supporters would have watched all the three matches of the Black Stars in Brazil.

He said, though they did not do things right with regards to documentation, the committee made their work difficult, adding that “they ran us into problems.”

Mr. Poku told the Commission that KT&T engaged the services of internal transportation and accommodation for supporters in Brazil, asserting that the committee went behind them to arrange its own transport and accommodation in Natal without serving them notice.

He said his outfit was only informed of the arrangement by the Committee when they got to Brazil.

Mr. Poku told the Commission that he went to the Natal Airport with five buses to convey supporters to the hotel they had arranged for their 270 government supporters and corporate clients, only to be informed by the Special Assistant to Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Larry Acheampong, that he had arranged some buses for the fans as part of their Plan B arrangements.

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“Mr. Acheampong told me that they had also arranged hotel accommodation for the fans, hence they would not use ours,” he noted.

He responded; “I did not take it lightly.” According to Mr. Poku, stunned by what he had witnessed, he confronted Fred Darko, who advised the fans to board the buses organised by KT&T, since they were better than those organised by Larry Acheampong, with the exception of the hotel.

According to Mr. Poku, they incurred an extra cost of $40,000 due to the conduct of the Committee, since they changed the plans by conveying the fans to a different location (camp), instead of the hotel, which was closer to the airport.

He, however, stated that they were not given any contract to organise internal flight for the fans, apart from the services they rendered for their own corporate clients.

Source: The Chronicle