TWO top members of the former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Management Board and the General Secretary are to refund over ?72 million to the GFA for negligence and lack of proper financial judgement over the...">
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General News of Thursday, 5 April 2001

Source: Daily Graphic -By Rosalind Amoh

Jawula and 2 Others To Refund ?72m

TWO top members of the former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Management Board and the General Secretary are to refund over ?72 million to the GFA for negligence and lack of proper financial judgement over the disbursement of the $450,000 CAF grant to the national soccer body towards CAN 2000.

Alhaji M. N. D. Jawula, the former chairman; his vice, Mr Ade Coker and General Secretary W. K. Agrah are to refund the money within 14 days.

Out of the amount, Mr Coker is to refund ?25 million and $2,380, while Mr Agrah refunds ?9.306 million.

In addition, Alhaji Jawula, the former vice-chairman, and the General Secretary are to jointly pay a total of ?31 million.

This follows the adoption yesterday of the recommendations of a nine-man committee set up by the GFA Congress to scrutinise an audited report on the CAF grant.

According to the committee, the grant was issued to the GFA, but the three men failed to inform their other colleagues on the then management board as well as the Executive Council about the receipt, lodgement and disbursement of the said money.

Instead, it was withdrawn from the GFA Account at CAL Merchant Bank and exchanged at Scancom Company Limited, a mobile phone company.

While the three men are severally and jointly surcharged with an amount of ?6,871,500, being the minimum loss incurred in the exchange of the grant, they are also to pay back ?23 million which was spent on souvenirs, hospitability and entertainment for CAF officials and other guests during CAN 2000.

Even though the decision to exchange the money at Scancom caused a maximum loss of ?369 million, the Congress decided to surcharge the three men with the minimum loss of ?6,871,500 because the loss was not due to any malfeasance but "for exhibiting poor financial judgement".

In addition, Mr Coker and Mr Agrah are to refund various sums of money which they took charge of in the various roles they played in the disbursement of the CAF grant.

Mr Agrah is to refund an amount of ?9,306,000 which the committee doubted was spent on the provisions and drinks for CAF officials from the ?20million accountable imprest given to him. And Mr Coker is to account for or refund an amount of ?25million he received as imprest for dinner for the CAF officials as well as $2,380 which was accounted from the imprest given for the Black Meteors during their trip to Libya.

The 17-page report, which was presented to the Congress yesterday and adopted by the house by a majority vote, also recommended that Scancom Company Limited should refund to the GFA, within 14 days, an amount of $1,007 being the cost incurred on the transfer the of $450,000 to their foreign account in Lebanon on their insistence.

Messrs Dygate, who were responsible for some renovation work at the Accra Stadium and the Department of Parks and Gardens who undertook the re-grassing projects of the Kumasi and Accra Stadia, are also to refund an amount of ?120 million to the state.

Each of the two companies were overpaid by ?60 million for the jobs they did. Even though the two companies were earlier issued with cheques as payments for the contracts from the CAF grant, they received second payments for the same job.

A travel agency, Alpha Consul, is also to pay ?24 million which they received for no job done.

The committee, chaired by Mr Douglas Djarbeng, chairman of the Division One League Board, among its findings said, the receipt, lodgement and disbursement of the CAF grant was shrouded in secrecy and, therefore, recommended that the three men who were in charge be reprimanded by Congress.

The findings also stated that members of the committee which included Mr W. Abra Appiah, J. Y. Appiah, David Fugar, G. Oteng-Arthur, Richard Quarshie, T. I. Haruna, Kwesi Nyantakyi and Captain A. K. Cudjoe, were generally not satisfied with the way some of the monies were disbursed, hence the recommendation that they be refunded.

Earlier, the house had also been divided over some of the recommendations. While others felt that the report itself was not different from the audited report which was rejected by the house, others felt that since the money lost in the exchange was negligible, the three men should be spared the surcharge of the ?6,871,500.

But others insisted they be made to pay. When the issue was brought to the floor for voting, 24 people voted in favour of the surcharge while 13 voted against with 30 people abstaining.