Sports News of Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Source: Daily Guide
A case of conflict of interest is gradually creeping into the work of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Ghana’s participation at the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
In a shocking turn of events, it has been revealed that Kofi Anokye-Darko, one of the three Commissioners presiding over the Brazil 2014 inquiry, was a member of a group formed by some National Democratic Congress (NDC) bigwigs in 2009 to cause instability at the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and ultimately instigate a coup to change the leadership of the country’s football governing body.
With the revelation, the membership of Mr Anokye-Darko may undermine the outcome of the Justice Senyo Dzamafe Commission into the World Cup debacle because of his alleged previous involvement in the attempt to cause instability at the FA.
This was revealed by a Presidential Staffer and Sports administrator, Ben Nunoo-Mensah, in an interview with Happy FM on Wednesday.
Mr. Nunoo-Mensah disclosed that in 2009, on the assumption of power of the new NDC administration, led by President John Evans Atta Mills, some members of the NDC formed a group to ensure that the FA was brought under the influence of government.
The group was made up Nunoo-Mensah; Greater Accra NDC Chairman Ade Coker; current Mayor of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu; then Communications Director at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho; current Deputy Minister of Local Government, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye; CEO of the Free Zones Board, Kojo Twum Boafo; and Kofi Anokye, a member of the Presidential Commission.
To further their aims, Mr Nunoo Mensah said, the group sent a delegation to South Africa, made up of himself and Kojo Bonsu in 2009 to meet the then FIFA Director in charge of international relationships, Jerome Champagne, and further arranged for the FIFA Director to meet the then President John Evans Atta Mills.
The revelations became more interesting when Nunoo-Mensah sought to question why Kofi Manu, a renowned football administrator and another kingpin of the NDC, who recently contested for the regional chairmanship of the party in the Brong Ahafo Region, was no longer supporting the cause to instigate a change at the GFA, since he was part of the larger group in 2009.
He questioned what had changed for the Brong Ahafo NDC man to oppose the same things he supported in 2009, which the Presidential Commission, with Kofi Anokye being a member, is now trying to push through.
“Indeed exactly what is going on now, we started it in 2009. What has changed from 2009? Kofi Manu was part. He bought into that idea; he was part of our agenda in 2009. In 2009 he agreed with us but in 2014 he doesn’t agree with us; we sold the idea to him and he bought it,” he said.
Mr Nunoo-Mensah gave a detailed structure of the group saying, “Kofi Manu wasn’t part of the core group. The core group was made up of myself, Oteng Arthur, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Ade Coker, Koku Anyidoho, Kojo Twum Boafo, Commissioner Kofi Anokye and Kojo Bonsu. But I can tell you that though Kofi Manu wasn’t part of the core group, along the line we told him most of the things we were planning and these were ideas he bought into,” Nunoo Mensah stated.
Responding to the issues on Montie FM on Saturday, Kofi Manu confirmed that indeed he was aware of the existence of the group and was made aware of most of its plans.
He revealed that in 2009, he was invited to the Castle Annex, National Security Secretariat, where the group held its meetings to partake in one of such meetings, during which he was informed that the sole purpose of the group was to destabilize the GFA and orchestrate a change of leadership with the reason that the new NDC administration needed to impose their own people at the FA.
“Yes, I knew of that group and remember a meeting at the Castle Annex where I met the group. The group was made up of Kojo Bonsu, Ade Coker, Ben Nunoo Mensah, Kofi Anokye and others as he mentioned, though I should say that Koku Anyidoho and Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, were both absent from this meeting I attended. The group and that particular meeting was about destabilizing the FA so we can take out Kwesi Nyantakyi. The idea was that since there was a new administration, we needed to have our people in all the sporting associations, starting with the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), then the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) and finally the Ghana Football Association (GFA). Through various means, the first two were successful but the FA till date hasn’t been successful.
“I am saying it, they can challenge me. Events after that meeting support what transpired at the meeting, including the EOCO raid, etc. Even after we almost got to the semi-final at the World Cup, they still tried to use EOCO to get out Nyantakyi, so what is happening now shouldn’t be surprising,” Kofi Manu told Montie FM.
The latest revelations cast a dark shadow on the work of the Presidential Commission as it supports earlier reports that the formation of the Commission is part of a grand agenda by some within the corridors of power to initiate a coup at the FA.