One is compelled to comment on the outcome of Ghana Football Association's (GFA) press conference. The piece is based on the assumption that what the Chronicle reported was the true account of what Dr Nyaho Nayaho Tamakloe, GFA Chairman said:
That through the assistance of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) the GFA acquired Plot Number Six, Giffard Road; East Cantonments. The 0.34 -acre plot was bought for 40,000 dollars. Upon the receipt of the sale and purchase agreement from the DIC the GFA contacted the Land Commission for a lease on the property. The Commission then gave the GFA a 50- year lease in 2003 after the payment of the relevant fees and that the GFA subsequently sold the land to a Mr Yaw Brakohiapa at 80,000 dollars.
The first question is does the GFA know that it is a quasi-government organisation and that status must have influenced the DIC to sell the property to it?
Does the GFA know that all the lands of State Housing Corporation were acquired through Legislative Instruments (LI)?
Does the GFA know that once the State does not use such lands for the purpose for which they were acquired the allodial rights to the land reverts to the original owners?
Does the GFA know that under the circumstance it had no power to sell the plot to a private individual?
Now coming to the manner in which the GFA sold the plot to that individual. Does the GFA know that it should have sold the land in a more transparent manner?
Did the GFA advertise that it had a piece of land to sell? Can the GFA produce a receipt showing the amount it paid to an advertising agency? How did Mr Brakohiapa get to know that the GFA had a piece of land to sell? Was it through cronyism?
How did the GFA settle on the 80,000 dollars price?
Which organisation did the valuation?
Does the GFA know that some people were prepared to pay 200,000 dollars for that piece of Land because of its location?
Did the GFA pay the requisite sales tax on the transaction and can it produce a receipt of payment from the Internal Revenue Service?
Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe must hold his breath. He need not fume as the Chronicle reported. The Police have the right to question the GFA. They are paid to do just that.
May one take the liberty to pass on this knowledge since Mr Daniel Kwame Ofori Dankwa of blessed memory, Former Headmaster of Ghana Secondary School, Koforidua, said: "Every situation is a learning situation."
It is about the old weather beaten clich=E9: "Journalists must crosscheck their facts". Yes it is true but there are exceptions. Journalists have special privileges that must not be lost sight of. When Journalists are reporting from an open court; a commission of enquiry, Parliament and from security sources they need not crosscheck. In this instance the Police told the Journalist that they were investigating the GFA. What was the Journalist going to ask GFA?
"Is it true that the Police are investigating GFA in connection with the sale of a piece of land? When the Police had said they were doing just that and the source was authentic. Indeed in practice Journalists crosscheck only when they doubt the source of information or its content. Thank you for the space and time.
Boakye-Dankwa Boadi, Ghana News Agency, P.O. Box GP 2118, Accra.