Legal expert Akuffo fears FIFA ban on Ghana over government commission
One of Ghana’s leading legal brains Kwame Akuffo has warned the government that FIFA could ban the country from international football following the decision to set to up a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the Black Stars failure at the 2014 World Cup.
The government set up a three-man committee last week to investigate why the national team failed to excel at the World Cup but just two days ago upgraded it to a commission which has powers of a high court.
Lawyer Akuffo also added that the decision to could lead to lead to a huge embarrassment for Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama who could also to be hauled before the investigative body.
This compounds the problems of government over the commission, which has the powers of a court, thus flouting FIFA regulation on governmental meddling in football which recently led to the banning of Nigeria.
Rubbishing the institution of the CoE, he said: “I believe that the Commission of Enquiry is completely misplaced. It’s been put there just to respond to emotions and the pain of a hurting nation,” he stated.
Adding that, “We are expending public resources in the wrong direction, and we will not receive anything.”
He mentioned there would be a collateral attack on the immunity of the GFA where the Commission constitutes judgment because it has the same powers as the High Court and, therefore, summoning them before it would mean the officials are on trial.
“That will amount to a collateral attack on the immunity of the GFA officials and clear contradiction of FIFA’s statute,” he said.
He explained that if the government gave monies to the GFA expecting a repayment when FIFA pays after participation, then that is a loan, and advised that; “If government wants its monies, it should send a demand notice.”
Thus, “I don’t see how a creditor can then begin to question the conduct of the Board of Directors of a Company because it has lent them money.”
“We cannot expend public resources to ask why the Black Stars did not play well; we cannot expend resources to find out why the Black Stars management team performed poorly.”
There is a growing perception that the government has the authority to investigate the GFA in respect of financial affairs.
But this perception, Lawyer Akufo noted, was motivated by the government’s advance of “our taxes to the GFA to run the Black Stars.”
“Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah and others were responsible for these matters. It’s a political issue that must be addressed by their political superiors. We cannot put things behind,” he noted.
Maintaining that the political superiors could investigate this matter without the need for a Commission of Enquiry.
He further noted that because the people acted on behalf of the president, it would be difficult to justify the means.
Especially, when they appear before the Commission and make ambiguous statements. And because the statements may not be substantiated, would the Commission then be in the position to say “We don‘t have the key actors?” he asked.
Lawyer Kwame Akufo before joining the conversation asked on his Facebook wall that “Funds released to GFA for the World Cup, loan or gift?”
His warning comes just days after banned Nigeria after the government hauled members of the Nigeria Football Federation before the law courts.