General News of Wednesday, 13 June 2018
An Accra High Court has placed an interlocutory injunction on the officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), restraining them from discharging their duties.
The injunction follows a motion filed by the Attorney General’s Office as part of efforts by government to restructure the association owing to the corruption scandal that has recently rocked football administration in the country.
The mind-blowing investigation was conducted by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team, and it captures top football officials, including the immediate-past GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, engaging in corruption.
Appearing before the court yesterday, the Attorney General, Gloria Afua Akuffo, in an ex-parte motion, prayed the court for the injunction pending a petition to dissolve and restructure the GFA, which she said has become a place for “self-aggrandizement.”
The motion sought three reliefs, including an officially winding up the activities of the GFA, restraining the officials from exercising their duties and disposing off assets of the GFA.
The AG asked the court to allow the Registrar General to act as the official liquidator of the GFA.
Ms. Akuffo, who based her argument on the Anas video, insisted that it has become necessary to restructure the GFA since the president of the GFA, who resigned recently, was captured on tape taking bribe.
She also said that officials took bribes to influence the outcome of football matches.
The Minister indicated that the rot at the GFA is not limited to subsidiaries and the directors alone but goes deep to include match officials which show that the body has lost the object of its existence.
She said despite the damning evidence, some officials of the GFA were still making plans to travel to Russia in the name of the body and Ghana, hence the need for the restraining order.
Ms. Akuffo told the court that the investigation revealed that the GFA has been used over the years for illegal activities which have become a source of worry to the public.
This, she said, dates as far back as 2014 when former President John Mahama set up the Dzamefe Committee to probe GFA’s conduct after the Black Star’s participation in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“The depth of illegality at the GFA has become a sin and this has been captured in the investigative video by Anas. GFA has become a place for self-aggrandizement and for some officials to make themselves rich through illegal means,” the AG noted.
She said the investigative piece clearly revealed that the GFA cannot legally continue to exist.
The AG told the court that they had established a prima facie case against the GFA and this has been attached to the facts of the case.
“It shows how low the GFA has sunk and how irredeemable it has become and needs to be reconstituted.”
She added that the body has become a tool for defrauding by false pretenses, money laundering and other activities which are not the objects of the association.
She said other leading officials of the GFA had resorted to defrauding unsuspecting members of the public in the selection of players for the national team and the appointment of referees for matches.
“As we speak now, the premises of the GFA have become a crime scene. These acts have grossly undermined the GFA in the eyes of Ghanaians and the international world,” Ms. Akuffo told the court.
She noted that the GFA is limited by guarantee but its duties are of public interest, and relies heavily on government especially for its finances and logistics to organise matches in the name of Ghana.
She said the GFA, whose actions have a direct bearing on the international image of Ghana, has to be redeemed without further delay.
Ms. Akuffo averred that “the longer the perpetrators are allowed to continue their illegal acts, the deeper we sink.”
She said GFA would lose nothing if the application to dissolve the body is granted.
On the other hand, she stated that a refusal to grant the application would have greater damage on the state than the GFA officials, who are masquerading around as responsible people.
The court, presided over by Justice Samuel K. Asiedu, granted the interlocutory application to last for 10 days.