Court halts GOC Congress

Author: Kweku Zurek
GOC General Secretary, Richard Akpokavie (left) and Professor Francis Dodoo addressing the few delegates present at the abortive Congress
GOC General Secretary, Richard Akpokavie (left) and Professor Francis Dodoo addressing the few delegates present at the abortive Congress

The scheduled annual Congress of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) was halted at the last minute, after executive members of the sports governing body were served with an interlocutory injunction secured from the High Court by the Ghana Weightlifting Federation.

The Congress slated to start at 9.00a.m. last Saturday at the Theodosia Okoh Stadium, had still not started as the 37 sports federation heads were still taking their seat when the writ of summons was handed to Richard Akpokavie, the General Secretary of GOC, by veteran Court Process Server, Yao Agbovi.

Mr Agbovi, a bailiff attached to the General Jurisdiction Court, told the Graphic Sports that he was unsuccessful in two separate attempts to serve the GOC  last Friday because their offices were lockedup.

"There are three defendants in the case, the GOC, Professor Francis Dodoo GOC President and Richard Akpokavie, to conclude the injunction," he explained.

"The third respondent, Richard Akpokavie, has received the GOC's along with his personal copy, with  Professor Dodoo yet to be served.

"I went to their offices twice last Friday and the place was locked up, that is why I am here to serve them today."

Bailiff Yao Agbovi (middle) seated among the delegates prior to serving the GOC 

Moments later, Mr Akpokavie, a lawyer admitted to the Congress that the GOC were made aware of the summons through an e-mail last Friday, informing the gathering that they had just been formally served with a summon and an interluctory injunction to be heard on July 28.

"By serving them, we consider that they will respect the court and  wait for the court to determine exactly whether what we are doing or what we have done today is proper or not," Akpokavie, who doubles as the president of the Ghana Hockey Association asserted.

"We will allow the court to take it's course, I can assure you that we will file our papers and we will contest this matter to the best of our ability.

"Because, it is our contention that even if we are wrong in calling congress, the best forum to determine that is Congress", he declared.

Some of the sports federation heads present at the abortive congress were Prof Francis Dodoo (president of the GOC and Ghana Athletics Association), Dr Marc Dzradoosi (Treasurer, Ghana Athletics Association), Isaac Aboagye Duah (vice president of the Ghana Tennis Federation), Melvin Brown (president of the Ghana Karate Do Federation), Gideon Quartey (chairman,  Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation), Frank Awuku (Ghana Hockey Association), Nestor Ghalley (president of the Badminton Association of Ghana) and Mawuko Afadzinu (president of the Ghana Table Tennis Federation).

Also present were the Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lante Vanderpuye and the Director General of the National Sports Authority, Joe Kpenge.