The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday, suspended with immediate effect, the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide, and the acting Director General of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Robert Sarfo Mensah from office following circumstances that led to the arrest of some sixty (60) Ghanaians, who had allegedly attempted to enter Australia by false pretenses, in the on-going 21st Commonwealth Games.
In a press release issued and signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the Jubilee House, he indicated that the decision had been taken following preliminary investigations conducted into the deportation of some 60 Ghanaians including ‘sports journalists’ who were in Australia for the commonwealth games.
It could be recalled that the Government of Ghana launched a probe into the incident after the Australian authorities indicated they were not convinced by their reasons for traveling to the country although those affected claimed to be Journalists.
Even though those deported had genuine visas, many did not carry equipment like recorders and recommended mobile phones for coverage which also raised suspicion. The National Security hence took up the case.
Some of the deported persons have told the media that they paid cash amounting to several thousands of dollars to get the paperwork facilitated by officials of the GOC.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Journalists Association also issued a statement earlier in the week distancing its membership from this sordid story, emphasizing that authorities needed to get to the bottom of the matter to salvage the profession’s reputation.
In view of these instances, the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah; the Board Chairman of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyeman; and the Chef-de-Maison for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mr. Mohammed Sahnoon, have all been recalled from the Games to assist in investigations being undertaken by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Service.