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28.03.2006 Sports News

Trouble brews on the corridors of sports administrators

By GNA

Accra, March 28, GNA - The Chief Director of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Ato Essuman could soon be compelled to move to the law court as Bahmed Travel and Tours, agents of the ministry, prepare to battle him for allegedly unlawfully withholding the company's money.

A memo dated March 3 by the Chief Director ordered the Chief Accountant to pay three billion, five hundred and forty-nine million, two hundred and sixteen thousand cedis (3,549,216,000) into the ministry's account instead of the Travel and Tour company until a preliminary investigation into invoices and quotations for a 60-man contingent to the Commonwealth Games in Australia was complete. Mr. Essuman said in the Memo that the figures quoted by Bahmed were four times more than what other competitors had submitted.

officials on a British Airways flight, the company later had a lower offer from Emirate Airlines and subsequently sent an amended quotation of a little over two billion cedis and drew the attention of the Chief Director and the Controller and Accountant General's Department for a reconciliation.

However, a Bank of Ghana pay voucher sighted by the GNA Sports issued on March 10, this year showed that Mr. Essuman unilaterally ordered for 800 million cedis to be paid the Travel and Tour Company without recourse to the three-man committee.

This, Alhaji Admed Bandoh, Chief Executive Officer of Bahmed Travel and Tours said he would contest at the law court to demand what legitimately belongs to him.

"Currently, the Ministry has tasked me to pre-finance the flight arrangement for the four Ghanaian clubs competing in Africa including PTAs for the referees at a cost of about 150,000 dollars and if such a huge money is unnecessarily withheld, how do you expect me to operate. National Sports Council (NSC) on February 24 requesting for tickets to be issued for the Ghanaian contingent for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

He was allegedly not in favour of the contract being given to Bahmed and had wanted it to be given to his cronies. Mr. Essuman had also demanded a copy of the contractual agreement between the ministry and Bahmed supposed to have been signed in 2003 during the Minister of State at the Ministry Education and Sports Alhaji Rashid Bawa's era.

The source said the relationship between the two people got worse when Alhaji Bandoh failed to furnish him with a copy of the contract letter.

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