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Sports News of Thursday, 9 December 2010

Source: GNA

EOCO retrieves useful information from GFA raid

Accra, Dec. 9, GNA - The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) says it has retrieved very useful documents after their raid at the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Tuesday.

Mr Mortey Akpadzi, Executive Director of EOCO said in a statement explaining the circumstances of the raid, copied to GNA Sports that his outfit "considers documents retrieved so far as very useful to our on-going investigations."

"Our legal mandate which obliges us to carry out these investigations cannot be different from what happens in other jurisdictions even in FIFA's own home country which saw similar investigations and the subsequent search of the FIFA President's office by the Swiss police in November 2005." The Executive Director emphasized that his office will undertake very detailed investigations and "if any person is found to have broken any laws of Ghana, appropriate actions will be taken against any such person. "In this, no effort will be spared to obey the law and observe the highest standards of professionalism. The office will not be deterred in any way in efforts to enforce the law and make sure that the innocent does not in any way suffer, while any person suspected to have broken the law is prosecuted."

The EOCO early Tuesday, upon procuring a court order and a search warrant with the support of officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, raided the GFA, identified and seized documents and computer equipment in which the Office said had cause to believe vital information relating to ongoing investigations could be found.

This the Executive Director said was preceded acting upon information it acquired through its monitoring activities and in accordance with the law, addressed a request asking for certain documents and information which the Office required as part of its investigations into certain financial affairs of the GFA which the Office has cause to believe have led to breaches of the laws of Ghana on tax, fraud and others.

This request, Mr Akpadzi said was sent to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Council, the Controller and Accountant General, the Ghana League Clubs Association, the Professional League Board, the GFA per its President, the Office of the President and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Two days later, Mr George Afriyie, an executive member of the GFA, initiated action in the High Court, seeking to restrain the Office from undertaking any investigations into the affairs of the GFA and the EOCO filed an affidavit in opposition to this application on September, 24. Mr Akpadzi said all the other institutions to whom requests had been sent had duly complied and forwarded the requested documents and information to the Office of EOCO.

"On October 18, the Office received a certificate of non-compliance from the High Court, indicating that Mr George Afriyie had failed to comply with conditions required by the court for his case to be heard. The Registrar accordingly invited the parties to attend court on October 25 but on that date George Afriyie's lawyers went to the court to withdraw his application."

"Meanwhile, on October 11, the Office sent a reminder but received a letter from the GFA on the 14th of October with a very terse message that "the GFA would get back to you on the subject as soon as possible as the notice is very short."

Mr Akpadzi said following this letter, the Office waited until it was determined that the GFA was not taking any steps to supply the documents and information requested for, then an application was made to the High Court for the order and search warrant which was executed on Tuesday.