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Suspension Of Minister, NSA Boss Prejudicial – Group

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The Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana has described president Akufo-Addo’s decision to suspend deputy Sports Minister and the National Sports Authority boss Pius Enam Hadzide and Mr Robert Sarfo Mensah respectively as “prejudicial.”

The two have been asked to step aside pending investigations into how over 50 Ghanaians were arrested and deported from Australia during the just ended Commonwealth Games.

“The action of the President is highly Prejudicial. Since comprehensive investigations are yet to start by the CID, the move by the President could only amount pressure on the CID to vindicate the President in the final analysis. If true, that will constitute an indirect interference in the outcome of the investigations,” the pressure group said in a statement.

Three other officials were recalled from the games as the visa scandal hit the country.

Below is the full statement from DYMOG:
Title: Presidents Move Unprincipled, Bias and highly Prejudicial

We wish to register our reservations over the President’s decision to suspend the Deputy Minister for Sports, Hon. Pius Enam Hadzide and the National Sports Authority boss Mr Robert Sarfo Mensah.

The President took this decision in reaction to the visa scandal surrounding Ghana’s delegation to the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Australia.

In-as-much as we agree with Mr President that the scandal greatly embarrasses the country and triggers a consequential need for an intensive and credible probe, the suspension of the public officials pending a ‘conclusive probe’ raises critical questions of the President’s integrity in exercising his powers. Our primary reservation is that the President has failed to be fair, candid or reasonable in exercising his disciplinary powers in respect of the two gentlemen.

Within this short period, the President’s government has been plagued with myriads of scandals which he has in one way or the other sought to investigate. Yet he has not applied his powers to discipline his appointees fairly.

Contrary to his decision to suspend these two gentlemen, the President’s decision has in the past kept such “accused officials” in office whiles investigations took place. For example allegations of bribery against Energy Minister, Hon. Boakye Agyarko, allegations of “corruption” against BOST MD, Mr Alfred Obeng for selling 5 Million Liters of Contaminated oil, allegations of Conflict of Interest and Insider Trading against Finance Minister Hon. Ken Ofori Atta over the issuance of $2.25 Billion Bond, allegations of “bribery and thievery” against Deputy Chiefs of Staff Mr Abu Jinapor and Mr Asenso Boakye, Cash for Seat Saga involving Hon. Alan Kyeremanteng and his Deputies among others saw all these appointees still at the post until conclusive investigations cleared them. So, this novelty of asking Sports Minister and NSA Boss to step aside for investigations surely has a reason lurking beneath it and we as Citizens need to know. In the absence of an explanation, it leaves us to conclude the President has been unprincipled in this matter by breaking his own code!

Secondly, the action is selective. A scandal of this nature cannot happen only within the framework of NSA and the Ministry of Sports. A visa scandal of this scope will definitely involve the active participation of certain key state institutions- Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Sports Authority, the Ghana Olympic Committee and the Ghana High Commission to Australia. Therefore, the question that arises is why the suspension of only two officials? Why did the President decide to target only two gentlemen who are just small fishes in the scheme of affairs? How about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ghana Olympic Committee and others? The suspension of only two officials constitute bias and send strong signals that the two may be used as scapegoats!

Finally, the action of the President is highly Prejudicial. Since comprehensive investigations are yet to start by the CID, the move by the President could only amount pressure on the CID to vindicate the President in the final analysis. If true, that will constitute an indirect interference in the outcome of the investigations.

To clear up all these matters, we call on the President to explain to the nation why the sharp deviation from the norm of keeping appointees at post whiles investigations go on, by suspending Deputy Sports Minister and NSA Boss.

Thank You.
EDWARD TUTTOR
(Executive Convener)

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