Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome
Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome

Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome, the Ranking Member on Youth, Sports and Culture Committee of Parliament, is calling for the report on the investigation conducted into alleged fraudulent procurement of visas by some Ghanaians to Gold Coast, Australia, to watch the 2018 Commonwealth Games, to be made public.

A probe by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) into the allegation has cleared former Mr. Pius Enam Hadzide, former Deputy Sports Minister, now Deputy Minister for Information of impropriety in the scandal, but the Ranking Member says the findings of the probe cannot be shrouded in secrecy.

For the second time, the former Deputy Sports Minister was exonerated; and the latest exoneration of the Deputy Minister, is reportedly contained in a segment of the report of the Disciplinary/Grievance/Dispute Resolution Sub-Committee submitted to the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) Executive Board on 15th February, 2019.

The committee was reported to have not found the deputy minister culpable in the case.

Mr Woyome, however, speaking to journalists at the Parliament House, in Accra, called for a full disclosure of the report of the investigation for the Ghanaian public to know what really happened, what went wrong, who were involved and what punishment has been meted out.

He explained that the incident resulted in some Ghanaians, involving mostly journalists, some of who were repatriated, asked to return, or blocked from entering Australia.

The Australian authorities would want to see some investigation quickly done by the State Ghana on the matter; for which the Government asked the National Security conduct that enquiry.

Mr. Woyome pointed out that there was some information on some specific persons and key persons suffered variously; when they came back “run their mouths on the matter” but contrary to the expectations of Ghanaians, “we do not have the details of the investigation, and we do not even know the key parameters on which the National Security was going to carry out its investigations.

“All that we heard was some persons have been cleared, but who and who and who, we do not know; and what kind of answers were given to specific questions, all that, we do not know.

“So we’ve been calling for full disclosure on the entire report, so that we will also know our mistakes and learn, so that going forward we would know some innovative ways in going about some of these.

The Ranking Member, who is also the MP for South Tongu Constituency, admitted that the CID were clothed with legal powers to conduct investigation, and has the power to declare the deputy minister not culpable, but wondered if it was not necessary for the public to know what really went wrong, what punishment and what lessons could be learned.

He further wondered what the consular decision of the Australian authorities would be when journalists from Ghana would need visas for such international assignments.

Mr Woyome described the request for the disclosure of the report as “harmless request”

Asked if he was interviewed during the investigation, the MP answered in the negative and said had that been done, he would have given a suggestion on how the process of the investigation should have gone for a fuller and wider picture.

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