Auditor General Steps Into Maputo Scandal
5/31/2012 2:00:48 PM -
Critics calling for the heads of National Sports Authority (NSA) officials who were recently fingered for embezzling huge funds from the 2011 Maputo All African Games would have to wait a bit longer because the Auditor General has been called in to verify the accounts of the sports authority.
It was unclear when the Auditor General would finalize its findings for onward action to be taken on implicated officials.
Late 2011, the Ministry of Youth and Sports constituted a five-man committee led by Nii Adotey Din Barima I to investigate the alleged malfeasance in the organization of the Maputo Games.
The committee issued its report in April this year, and two key persons were indicted in the report, namely the Chief Executive of the NSA, Wolanyo Agra and the Chief Sports Development Officer, Erasmus Adorko. However, critics suspected that the sports ministry was unduly dragging its feet on the prosecution of the duo.
Anti-corruption advocacy group, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) last week issued a statement seeking to compel the ministry to act fast in prosecuting the named officials to dispel the perception that the issue would be handled the same apathetic way that similar incidences had been handled in the past.
'Over the years, events and numerous commissions and committees of inquiry into public malfeasance and fraudulent acts perpetrated by persons in trusted positions have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that corruption in sports administration is arguably second only to corruption in national politics. Sadly enough, hardly has any concrete actions been taken against wrong doers in most cases,' stated the GII.
However, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Michael Akwasi Sarpong told DAILY GUIDE SPORTS in a telephone interview that the matter had been referred to the Auditor General because the huge financial misappropriations in the case were beyond the capacity of the sports ministry to effectively ascertain.
'We are not only talking about administrative lapses, but it also borders on issues of criminality that we may not have the capacity to deal with.'
According to Mr. Sarpong, it was only after the independent assessment of the Auditor General that the sports ministry could issue a White Paper on the appropriate action that could be taken against persons involved in the scandal that utterly embarrassed the country at the Maputo Games two years ago.
'We [the ministry] are expecting action on these issues and nobody is trying to conceal anything,' Mr Sarpong told DAILY GUIDE SPORTS .
Late 2011, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon Clement Kofi Humado mounted an investigation into the activities of the NSA when it emerged that the authority was riddled with such corruption that it affected the country's showing in the all-important games in Maputo, Mozambique.
The committee's report was damning, revealing misappropriation of funds running into over US$ 1 million. For instance, the Committee found that out of a total sum of GHC356,725.00 voted by Government for the purchase of general kitting for athletes and officials at the Games, not a single pesewa was spent or utilized for that purpose. 'Thus, Ghanaian athletes and officials went to the Games without branded or national wear supplied by the National Sport Authority. Nigeria, for example, came to the Games with at least four different uniforms, not to mention straw hats, caps, which had all been branded in national colours,' lamented the committee.
In its final analysis, the committee said, 'The Committee believes that given the extent of managerial incompetence, institutionalized corruption and organizational rot that is going on at the National Sports Authority, it is only a 'roots and branch' shake up of the entire setup that will rid the organization of these ills.'
By: Raphael Adeniran