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Deputy Sports Minister, NSA boss welcome Presidential probe into visa scandal

BY: Kweku Zurek
Deputy Sports Minister, NSA boss welcome Presidential probe into visa scandal

The suspended Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide has welcomed a Presidential probe into the circumstances which led to the arrest of some 60 Ghanaians for allegedly attempting to enter Australia by false pretences.

According to Mr Hadzide, who doubles as the head of Ghana's International Games Committee (IGC), he welcomes the decision of President Akufo-Addo because it will ensure that his name is cleared of any wrong doing.

Hadzide and the Director General of the National Sports Authority, Robert Sarfo Mensah were suspended with immediate effect Thursday over their suspected roles in the detention and deportation of Ghanaians who travelled to attend the on-going 21st Commonwealth Games.

A statement from the presidency said the President’s action follows preliminary investigations into circumstances leading to the arrest of the 60 Ghanaians, who had allegedly attempted to enter Australia by false pretences, in connection with the on-going 21st Commonwealth Games.

Read also: Commonwealth Games visa scandal: BNI release two suspects on bail

President Akufo-Addo has also recalled a number of officials from the Games to assist in ongoing investigations by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Service.


The recalled officials include the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah; the Board Chairman of the National Sports Authority, Kwadwo Baah Agyeman; and the Chef-de-Maison for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mr Mohammed Sahnoon.

Hadzide in an interview on Asempa FM said he was already aware that the President would not support any cover-ups in his government.

He maintained his innocence, stressing that being asked to step aside was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Hadzide said he knows nothing about the arrest of the 60 persons in Australia given that he was not in charge of accrediting persons for the Games and as head of the IGC, he was responsible for fulfilling government's responsibility to Team Ghana at the Games.

Mr Sarfo Mensah in a separate interview on the same platform said although he was yet to receive an official letter confirming his suspension, the President had informed him of the decision by telephone.

He said he was also aware that a committee would be set up to investigate the matter.

Akufo-Addo also recalled a number of officials from the Ghana Olympic Committee to assist in ongoing investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police Service.

The said officials include the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah; the Board Chairman of the National Sports Authority, Kwadwo Baah Agyeman; and the Chef-de-Mission for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mr Mohammed Sahnoon.