C'Wealth Games visa scandal: Implicated NSA staff still at post

BY: Kweku Zurek
Commonwealth Games visa scandal: Implicated NSA staff still at post following suspension of NSA bosses, Deputy Minister
Implicated: Christine Ashley and Husseini Akuetteh Addy

The Deputy Director-General, Administration of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Majeed Bawa has disclosed that two officers of the body who have been implicated in the visa scandal that rocked Team Ghana at the 2018 Commonwealth Games are still in the employ of the NSA and report for their daily duties.

The duo, Christine Ashley and Husseini Akuetteh Addy, were suspended by the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) from holding themselves as officials of Ghana’s contingent at the just-ended 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia when news of the scandal broke.

They were suspended by the GOC for their alleged complicity in the scandal as the GOC leadership began investigations into circumstances that led to over 50 Ghanaians being detained and deported by the Australian immigration authorities for posing illegitimately as journalists, athletes and officials.

According to a Graphic Sports report, the two NSA personnel were seconded to the GOC to assist with data entry for Ghana’s contingent.

The paper gathered that preliminary investigations conducted by the GOC revealed that Mr Addy allegedly tampered with the accreditation system and subsequently made entries for individuals who were not supposed to be on the system and inserted names of persons who were neither athletes nor officials and captured them as such.

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It further revealed that the two accused allegedly collaborated with five other officials to enter various persons into the Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) accreditation system and subsequently secured visa notification letters and or non-validated passes for over 60 individuals who are neither athletes nor officials of Team Ghana.

Ms Ashley is still the General Secretary of the Ghana Volleyball Association and Mr Addy works as the General Secretary of the Ghana Weightlifting Association.

Several high-profile government appointees including their boss at the NSA, Robert Sarfo Mensah, the NSA Board Chairperson, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang and the Deputy Minister Pius Enam Hadzide have all since been suspended from their posts to enable the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service to carry out investigations.

Mr Bawa in an exclusive interview with Graphic Online on Wednesday, April 18 said he had seen the two who are still being investigated by the NSA and that a decision will only be taken on their status as employees of the NSA when Ghana's Commonwealth Games contingent returns from Australia.

He said: "They have not been dismissed, they have not been sacked, they have only been implicated in something and security agencies have been directed to take over the investigation.

"They are being investigated, we are expecting the contingent from tomorrow. So when they come a formal report will be given and a decision will be taken. They are staff of the NSA, they have not been sacked. So, until the investigation is over and something different comes up they are staff and they (are) supposed to report for duty and cooperate with the security agencies."