C’ssion Forced To Adjourn To Friday For GFA Members

Mr.Thaddeus Sory, Counsel for the GFA membersThe Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe Ghana’s participation at the just ended World Cup in Brazil was yesterday forced to adjourn to Friday.

This is to enable the appearance of all seven Ghana Football Association management members of the various national teams who were billed to testify before it.

Messrs Fred Crentsil chairman of the Black Starlets management committee, Fred Pappoe chairman of the management committee for the CHAN Team, George Afriyie chairman of the Black Satellites management committee, Mathew Narh Doe chairman of the Black Meteors management committee, Augustine Asante chairman Black Maidens management committee, Alhaji Adam Munkaila, chairman of the Black Queens management committee and Osei Tutu Agyemang of the Black Princesses management committee were all set to appear before the Commission

But counsel for the seven witnesses Mr. Thaddeus Sory raised objection on the time, capacity and status his clients were invited, and engaged the Commission in a semi-heated debate which lasted for well over an hour.

Mr. Sory raised issues with his client’s invitation before the Commission and sought clarification from the Commission on the legal status of them appearing before the Commission.

According to Mr. Sory, C.I 65 on which the Commission was set up, stated that a client be told before appearing the capacity under which he is being invited; whether as a target or non-target witness.

He also argued that it was the right of a witness to be given a two weeks notice to appear before the Commission and for him all these privileges were violated by the Commission.

He told the Commission that one of his clients Mr. Crentsil only received his invitation letter yesterday morning and he was not in a good position to testify before the Commission as he was not informed within the legally mandated time frame required.

For him the Commission’s invitation did not provide enough protections of his legal rights particularly from future prosecution based on his testimony before the Commission.

The hall, for well over two hours, was turned into a legal lecture with both sides trying to state their cases, however in the end the Commission’s chairman Justice Senyo Dzamefe had the last laugh; he overruled the objection raised on the bases of C.I 65, rule 20 (3) and 28 which among others give the chairman of the Commission the power to verbally modify the rules to carry on proceedings.

But after taking a short recess, Justice Dzamefe came back and ruled finally that Mr. Crentsil will have a mandatory eight days notice as stipulated by law to appear before the Commission and not two weeks as requested by his counsel.

He further told the Starlets management committee chairman that he would be appearing before the Commission as a non-target witness.

To this end Mr. Crentsil was discharged to reappear September 29.

Mr. Sory further took the six other chairmen of the various national teams through the same process before the Commission as they all fell within the argument advanced for Mr. Crenstil, thus making it impossible for them to be heard.

All six are scheduled to come before the Commission to testify to the sitting as to how the various national teams are funded, managed and ways to help provide a better way of managing them.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Sports is billed to appear before the Commission today to testify.

By Raymond Ackumey & Michael D. Abayateye

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