Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide has been suspended by president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He was suspended alongside the Director General of the National Sports Authority, Robert Sarfo Mensah.
A statement signed by Director of Communications at the Jubilee House, Eugene Arhin states that the decision was taken after “preliminary investigations conducted into the circumstances that led to the arrest of some sixty (60) Ghanaians, who had allegedly attempted to enter Austrailia by false pretenses”.
The statement further reveals that President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Ben Nunoo Mensah and some other officials who were with Ghana’s team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games “have been recalled from the Games to assist in investigations currently being undertaken by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Service”.
Government initiated a probe into the deportation of some Ghanaians from Australia who claimed to be journalists for the Commonwealth Games.
At least 50 Ghanaians were in Australia for the games which started on April 4, 2018, but the Australian authorities were not convinced by their reasons for travelling to the country although those affected claimed they were journalists.
The GJA therefore, called on the “Foreign Affairs Ministry, the police and other relevant institutions to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to establish the true identity of the deportees for the purposes of redeeming the image of Ghana and Ghanaian journalists.”
Reports in both local and international media showed that the Australian authorities were not convinced about the mission of purported journalists in that country because although they claimed to be journalists and had genuine visas, many of them did not carry the recommended equipment for the coverage of such a sporting event.
“The GJA wishes to put on record that it does not know the identity of the so-called journalists; neither is it aware of their mission in Australia. Although Ghanaian journalists travelling outside the country for official events are not obliged to inform the GJA about their assignments, it is quite strange that the GJA is not aware of the identity of the deportees, including the media institutions they claim to represent,” the statement stated.
Two staff of the National Sports Authority (NSA) were earlier implicated in the running saga of the visa racketeering for fake journalists and other questionable athletes and deported by the Australian authorities have been granted bail after a brief detention by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
The two, Hussein Akuetteh Addy and Christine Ashley were detained by the BNI last Friday upon their arrival in Ghana from Australia and stayed in detention until Monday evening before being bailed.
They have since been suspended.