Dzamefe Commission Overrules Prez & Cabinet

The Dzamefe Commission set up to investigate issues surrounding Ghana’s participation in the 2014 Brazil World Cup has gone a step further to overrule the President and Cabinet with regard to the FIFA appearance fees paid to the Ghana Football Association.

The latest sidestepping of the President and Cabinet is in relation to the FIFA Appearance Fees paid to the Ghana Football Association for Ghana’s participation and part of which the GFA has used to settle the loan it took from government for the Black Stars appearance.

The GFA’s repayment of the loan of 4million dollars established the fact that no public funds were used on the team itself before, during, or after the Brazil world cup as the FA paid for all the preparatory costs and has now repaid government all the monies spent during the tournament itself which was approved by Cabinet as a loan.

However, despite the fact that it has been established now that government was solely absorbed of responsibility with respect to the team’s funding during the tournament and despite the fact that the President together with Cabinet agreed that the FA pay back the loan advanced to it for the team’s participation once the money from FIFA returns, our impeccable sources at the Ministry of Youth and Sports indicate that the Dzamefe Commission has now asked the Ministry of Youth and Sports to virtually ignore the Cabinet’s decree and instructed the Ministry to open an escrow account with the Bank of Ghana and seize the remainder of the 7.1million FIFA paid to the GFA.

Cabinet after a marathon meeting on the 13th of March with the President Chairing and after much scrutiny of the issues relating to Ghana’s participation at the World Cup decided that all amounts to be spent on the Black Stars team during the tournament in Brazil would be regarded as loans to the GFA and were to be repaid to government once the Price money from FIFA was paid to the GFA.

Cabinet also decided that just like happened in 2006, the FA will be expected to return only the loan taken from government and keep the remainder of the monies to be invested in football development. This decision of Cabinet has been reiterated on various occasions by the current Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga.

Our checks at the Ministry suggest that the Minister immediately after learning of payment of the price money to the GFA, instructed the FA to quickly repay the loan as had been agreed by Cabinet on March 13th, a directive the GFA followed on the 6th of November.

The latest directive from the Commission runs contrary to the Commission’s posture during its sittings. The Commissioners, most notably the Chairman, Justice Dzamefe, on numerous occasions during their sittings noted that the Commission took its powers from the President and interpreted criticisms and perceived acts non-cooperation as an indication of disrespect to the President and government.

The latest act of this Commission which had constantly reminded the public that it took its powers from the President in overruling the President and his Cabinet over a decision taken by the Cabinet months ago without even referring the matter to Cabinet is set to generate lots of discussion in the coming days especially in the Sporting and Government circles.

Already, there are strong indications that some officials within the government and at the Ministry of Sports are particularly uncomfortable with the latest directive from the Commission, viewing it as over extension of the Commission’s mandate since the Instrument setting up the Commission gave the Commission no such powers.

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