At about 5:33 AM October 25, WhatsApp message read: ‘Let’s all join hands to build a strong and profitable Ghana football enterprise’. Few minutes later, the communique rejecting Wilfred Osei Kwaku’s application for conservatory measures on the GFA Presidential elections filed on 14th October, 2019 at Court of Arbitration for Sports followed.
It was perfect relief to pave way for Dr. Kofi Amoah and his Normalisation Committee (NC) to bow out. They had been maligned, sometimes insulted and the day served as one the business mogul would look back and pat himself at the back.
He later described it as ‘a sign of triumph,’ in an interview with Kwesè Tv. It was indeed a sign of triumph. Media had reported countless times how they intended to stay on beyond the mandate handed to them by the world football governing body, FIFA.
It is true they wanted to stay, but Veron Mosengo-Omba, Chief Member Associations Officer of FIFA, the man who set up the Committee would have no further reasons to allow them in for further six months after complaints of Ghana football in further doldrums under their watch reached him in Egypt during the AFCON 2019.
The government of Ghana would also not back a further stay as interim heads of Ghana football. Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, told Parliament ‘we would ensure that they stick to their mandate and handover when it is due’.
It is alleged Dr. Amoah had private conversations about how he was going to stay on until after the 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections. It is unclear if this was a joke gone bad as an alleged private conversation during the launch of ‘a Gift to a Nation’ by Tamimu Issah at Kempinski on leading football of the West African country until next year’s elections got back to the corridors of power. That broke the camel’s back.
The Normalisation Committee had to put final touches and hand over, probably, the reason why their schedule for the elections had to go beyond the September 30 deadline. On the day of the elections, Dr. Kofi Amoah, maybe, was ambivalent. ‘The opportunities of traveling for FIFA and CAF Congresses are over and also an end to $6,500 monthly remuneration.’
Then, there was the other thought of I am leaving the ‘environment where the press is very negative and not encouraging of our enterprise’ according to Naa Odofoley Nortey.
Some sections of the media can render a man impotent with the choice of words on public radio. Even after leaving the area where he was literally swimming against the tide at some point, Dr. Kofi Amoah feels he’s been categorised under the umbrella of corrupt citizens. He has every right to feel hard done by section of Ghanaians and the media after laborious fourteen months as head of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
It was period where he made about $97,500 but had his integrity questioned to the extent that he was described a ‘con man and a trickster’ on public radio.
One would have thought that his name would be history after the October 25 GFA Presidential elections, but he chose to set himself for the recent aspersions thrown at him. The lack of transparency of the Normalisation Committee hampered the clean slate he wanted to leave for the new administration.
When Congress was assembled on the 25th day of the tenth month of the year, any doubts regarding pending payments from any institution due the GFA, had the financial statements been submitted to the powerful decision making body of the association, it would have cleared that. Why did the NC not present financial statement of what they met and what they spent and on what? And Congress never bothered to demand that. They were so subservient and were left in the dark about how they used their funds and any discussions held with any institution.
One would argue that Ordinary Congress is held once a year to usher in the new calender for the GFA, but if the Normalisation Committee wanted to be transparent with the GFA, they would not have organised an Extraordinary Congress where only matters on the agenda are discussed.
An Ordinary Congress would have ushered the new FA into new season where the books of the association would be clear to all and sundry.
In the era of abnormality, abnormal agreements and concessions were made. Without amending the Statutes, there will be a 18 Club league for the 2019/20 season. Randy Abbey succinctly captured it in his argument for 18 Club league that, ‘common sense’ should prevail and admonished members not to be over ‘legalistic.’ Same common sense should have applied to give for accounts to be rendered. Nothing, absolutely nothing could be properly convincing to Ghanaians and the corporate world than clean books left for the new administration.
It is also sine qua non that, if the Committee handed over notes to Mr. Okraku and his team, vital information about things that transpired during their 14 months stay would have been captured.
In the handing over notes, I hazard any discussions between the GFA and Globacom, where they reached and the timelines were requirements they could not have overlooked, but just maybe, these were not known.
It is not a secret that the GLO owed the GFA one million US Dollars ($1m). What is a secret is, a legal team was engaged by the Normalisation Committee to go after monies owed them without a prior discussion with stakeholders. A legal team were engaged within the period and it was known by just members of the Committee and the legal team.
What is a secret is that even the new leadership of the association were not in the known until the payment was made, according to sources. How surreal this is.
When this portal broke the story of receipt of $900,000 from President of the now defunct Normalisation Committee (NC), Dr. Kofi Amoah by the new leadership of the GFA, it was clear the media would go after the man who chose to serve under the most difficult circumstances, but as indicated earlier, he chose whatever is served in his plate.
Muftawu Nabila Abdulai contacted Dr. Kofi Amoah when his attention was drawn to the meeting between him and the new leadership of the Ghana FA before making public the substance of the meeting, but he was reluctant to comment, directing him to contact Glo and the GFA.
Checks at the GFA revealed that, Glo owed the football governing body in the West African country $3m when they unilaterally terminated a sponsorship agreement between the GFA and the telecommunication network covering the Ghana Premier League and the Senior National team, the Black Stars.
The GFA decided to institute legal action about 5 years ago at the commercial division of the High Court Accra for a recovery of the debt.
Globacom resorted to plead with the GFA for an out of Court settlement which was agreed by the FA. The GFA hierarchy traveled to Nigeria several times following up on the money as promised by Glo, but these trips were fruitless.
After about 4 years in Court without success, the GFA retuned to Court and the Judge recommended an arbitration to resolve the impasse that lingered on for nearly half a decade. Two people were recommended: Prof Kumado and Kizito Beyuo.
Kizito Beyuo (the law partner of Naa Odofoley Nortey, who was a member of the Normalisation Committee) was chosen as the arbitrator in 2017 at a fee of $70,000.
On October 27, 2017 Glo submitted a proposal to pay $1.5m to the then President of the Ghana FA, Kwesi Nyantakyi, half of the total amount owed the GFA to be paid in three tranches according to sources. The GFA forwarded the proposal to its Lawyer Thadeus Sory on November 15, 2019 for his advice.
Upon advice from Mr. Sory, Muftawu Nabila Abdulai understands the GFA referred the matter to its then Finance Committee headed by Wilfred Osei Kwaku who recommended that the proposal be accepted by then Executive Committee.
The explanation offered by the then Finance Committee was that, Globacom supported the activities of the association and should not be over dragged as a good relationship could be re-established in the near future.
Glo, however, were asked to make a ‘good faith deposit’ of $500,000 to the association which was paid in April 2018 with an outstanding balance of $1m.
Sources say that the ‘good faith deposit’ of $500,000 was paid to the GFA in cash which the FA rejected and directed that it should be paid into the account of the association.
They say, the move was to avoid getting caught in the web of money laundering and tax evasion.
Having paid the $500,000, the outstanding $1m was expected to be paid in two tranches in October 2018 and April 2019 according to sources. The premiere of the exposè in June 2018 halted communications between GFA and Glo as the FA was termed a ‘crime scene’ by the CID of Ghana Police Service. Glo could not make the payment as accounts of the association were frozen. Glo duly paid the money as agreed between the two parties in 2019, but did so in bulk and in cash again to Normalisation Committee, and $100,000 was deducted for legal fees, raising questions when they engaged the lawyers and why the chose of Davis and Davis Law Firm and the service rendered to the FA.
Legal luminaries have stated that an ‘arbitration is final and binding’ on parties involved, further questioning if the case was relitigated by the Normalisation Committee.
It is unclear when the payment was made to the Normalisation Committee, but Dr. Amoah in an interview with Atinka FM said the money was paid on November 20, nearly a month after leaving office, or three days after his mandate officially ended per the FIFA mandate given to him and his team.
Considering that all possible corners of Mr. Amoah’s period elapsed, who approved the payment of 10% to Davis and Davis Law firm? Were Glo given receipt of payment made to the Ghana FA? On which letterhead?
Why did Glo not take the money to the GFA since the Secretariat was no longer a crime scene? Why did Glo choose to pay Normalisation Committee? Since Dr. Kofi Amoah knew his mandate ended, why did he not direct Glo to send the money to GFA?
And why did he deduct the money before handing the rest to the association?
Was he afraid the GFA would not pay Davis and Davis Law if documents of work done to get Glo to make payment were presented?
We have been left to ask questions for an avoidable situation turned murky. The GFA have requested for the money to be returned and rightly so.
Until Dr. Kofi Amoah, GLO and the GFA clears the rumours, the father of Citizen Kofi walked on the path laid before him without transparency.
Credit:mufnabila.wordpress.com/Muftawu Nabila Abdulai