Blackout On World Cup Probe

The proceedings at the Commission inquiring into the Black Stars’ poor performance at the Brazil 2014 World Cup came to an abrupt end, curtsey the Electricity Company of Ghana. The lights and communications gadgets went out at 12 mid-day when proceedings were ongoing.

This compelled the Chairman for the Commission, Justice Senyo Dzamefe to call for a recess for power to be restored through a generator set, but that never materialized. It was later communicated to the press that, the generator plant at the Ohene Gyan Sports Stadium had problems, thus forcing the commission to adjourn its sitting to Wednesday 27th August, 2014.

The Project Coordinator for the Brazil World Cup 2014, Fred Darko, appeared before the Commission to explain the role he played in the Brazil World Cup 2014, in his capacity as a Project Coordinator. He revealed to the Commission of Inquiry that, he worked voluntarily, although his appointment letter was copied to both the Chief Director and the Accountant of the Ministry.

According to him, he never received any salary from the Ministry, but was only taking allowances in the sum of GH¢100 and GH¢200 only, when he attended meetings. Adding he saw the opportunity to work in the World Cup Secretariat as a new territory to explore. The man appointed by the ex-minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, said he was employed based on recommendation, due to his previous experience as a marketer who has excelled in all his projects. He also tendered in the appointed letter from the ex-minister.

Mr. Darko, however, could not produce an acceptance letter when quizzed. He explained that there was none, since he accepted the offer by word of mouth. Surprisingly, on the appointment letter tendered in as evidence, his appointment was supposed to expire at the end of August 2014, although the World Cup had ended by then. The Chairman for the Commission, in awe, said why a whole World Cup, as the world’s biggest sporting activity, he would be appointed for such a job and would not deem it necessary to accept the offer in a letter.

He also told the Commission that all workers at the secretariat were voluntary workers who only took allowances. On the issue of why the Secretariat did not advertise for the contractors for the travel and tour agents, he answered that per his remit, he was to coordinate, therefore, when the various committees agreed on the particular agent he accepted, but the selection was based on experience and financial capacity.

Mr. Darko, briefing the Commission on the criteria used in selecting ambassadors to help solicit for the funds, said they wanted icons that had audience appeal and were available to work voluntarily. Adding, they contacted Samini, but he wanted it done on commercial basis, which they could not afford. Justice Dzamefe asked whether they ever compared the cost of hiring catering services in Brazil, than to conveying caterers from Ghana to Brazil. Mr. Darko was struggling with that question when the lights went off. Sittings Continue today.