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Minority demands publication of ‘Australian visa’ report

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru

The Minority in Parliament has called for the publication of the report on the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) into the Australian visa scandal.

There is the need for the government to publish the full details of the report which purportedly exonerated a former Deputy Sports Minister and current Deputy Information Minister, Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, to clarify matters.

In an interview with journalists, the Ranking Member on the Youth, Sports and Culture Committee and Minority Spokesperson on Sports, Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome, said the media publication, which indicated that Mr Hadzide had been cleared, left several unanswered questions.

The latest exoneration of Mr Hadzide is said to be contained in the relevant segment of the report of the Disciplinary/Grievance/Dispute Resolution Sub-Committee submitted to the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) Executive Board on February 15, 2019.

Following the scandal, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo suspended Mr Hadzide but he was reinstated following his exoneration by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) probe into the case.

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Mr Woyome, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for South Tongu, said Ghana was put to shame by the behaviour of the sports officials.

That, he said, gained currency because it was published extensively in the international media.

"We were ashamed as a country when people were going to Gold Coast in Australia for the games. People went with a long list of journalists when they were not journalists. Some of them could not write their names," he said.

Therefore, Mr Woyome said, there was the need to let the world know the findings of the report.

He said if the report indicated that the former Deputy Minister of Sports had been cleared, "but the issue is that the thing has happened and so who did what we do not know. They are faceless. We do not know the names", he said.

The legislator stressed that once the national security had not concluded with its investigations into the same Australian visa scandal, it was important for that of the GOC to be published in detail.

He said the Australian visa scandal had damaged the image of many media houses and journalists.