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08.04.2011 General News

Human Rights Court to decide on GFA-EOCO saga on May 13

By GNA
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April 08, 2011
Accra, April 8, GNA – A Human Rights Court in Accra on Friday adjourned to May 13 its ruling on whether or not the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO) violated the rights and privacy of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) when it invaded the GFA's office on December 8, last year, and took away some computers for investigations.

When the case was called, the court presided over by Mr Justice U.P. Dery stated that the ruling was not ready and adjourned the matter to May 13.

On December 8, 2010, EOCO, in executing an order of the court, proceeded to the offices of the GFA and took away some computers.

Moving a motion to invoke the jurisdiction of the court to enforce GFA's fundamental human rights on February 25, Mr Sory noted that EOCO was to retrieve documents and not computers and mobile phones of some of the Association's personnel.

Mr Sory submitted that EOCO in executing the court order extended its mandate further to other areas other than the documents.

He said if EOCO thought it wise to include computers, they should have stated that before the court or file an amendment to the orders of the court.

Also, Mr Sory noted that the EOCO did not tell the GFA who it was investigating.

“The respondents did not tell whether it was the president of the GFA or the Chairman of the Professional League who was being investigated.

“The mode by which the EOCO carried out the order was done in bad faith and it was not true that the GFA President had had discussions with the EOCO,” Mr Sory added.

According to Mr Sory, EOCO breached its obligations under the Constitution and it did not also comply with its own Act.

He said that EOCO only went behind the court to do what the court had not asked them to do, noting that the insertion of the word computers on the order was an afterthought.

Mr Sory said EOCO had no powers to go into the activities going on between the GFA and its private sponsors.

Counsel further pointed out that under EOCO's Act, Act 304, they could have extended their operations into matters where the state had lost funds and also where there had been tax evasion or other serious offences including human trafficking and sex exploitation.

He admitted that the GFA had some agreements with some private organisations in terms of sponsorship package but that did not amount to loss of funds by the state.

Mr Sory said there must be facts on the ground to call for investigations.

In his response, Dr Philip Anderson, counsel for EOCO, opposed to the application filed by the GFA, saying it acted fairly and reasonably, and that EOCO did not breach the right and privacy of the GFA.

Citing Act 724 under the Insurance Act of 2006, he said the definition of documents included information stored electronically and that fell within the orders of the court.

Dr Anderson debunked the GFA's assertion that the insertion of computers in the court orders was an afterthought.

He said the EOCO wrote to the GFA about investigations to be conducted and it further went ahead to hold discussions with the GFA boss after he visited the EOCO offices.

“It is false that Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi did not know the purpose for which he was invited to the offices of the EOCO and even when we wrote to them they responded,” he added.

According to Dr Anderson, EOCO's search at GFA was in accordance with EOCO's procedures and the law.

He said the EOCO was investigating a matter concerning financial loss to the State, saying “Twenty-two million dollars was spent on the World Cup and that should not be accounted for?”

Dr Anderson said that EOCO had statutory duty to investigate all institutions and the GFA could not be exempted.

He denied that EOCO took some mobile phones away during the search, adding EOCO did not violate the rights of the GFA.

GNA

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