NSC dismisses allegations against CEO

The National Sport Council (NSC) has dismissed allegations levelled against its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Worlanyo Agrah over and alleged visa fraud that hit the Council a few months ago. An article titled "face behind visa scandal unveiled" and posted on the internet cited the NSC Boss as the brain behind the scandal. Hearing persons were paraded as members of the National Deaf team for a tournament few months ago, and the NSC has stated categorically that the CEO has no hand in the issue. A statement signed by Hamah Hamid Issakah, Public Relations Officer of the NSC copied to GNA Sports maintains that the contents of the article lack merit and substance. "The whole process for the acquisition of the said visas started in November/December 2008 when Mr Agra had not taken office as the acting CEO of the Council and therefore could not have facilitated the procurement of visas as being claimed by the writer. "However, with the case in question, the invitation for the competition arrived in November/December 2008 when Mr Agra was also not the CEO of the Council." Mr Issakah explained that procurement of visas at the Council goes through a process, other than the one made for the National Paralympic team due to premeditated reasons. "For any Association to secure a visa through the Council, a letter or memorandum is submitted to the Chief Executive together with the invitation letter and other supporting documents for authenticity. "The CEO then refers such request to the Chief Sports Development Officer for his comments as to whether the invitation has been captured in the budget submitted by the association in question. "If the CEO is convinced about the trip, he then directs and makes a request to the Public Relations Office for a draft of an introductory letter addressed to the Embassy of the country hosting the event. "Such letters are usually handled by the Protocol Officer to ensure that no person alters them or makes any photocopies, once it has been submitted to the said Embassy. "Where applicants are required to attend an interview, the Protocol Officer leads the delegation and sometimes is accompanied by the Public Relations Officer. All these measures are checks and balances put in place to ensure that only genuine persons are supported to procure visas." Mr Issakah explained that the letter of introduction to the Australian High Commission was signed on May 22, 2009, exactly four days after the substantive CEO assumed office. "If Mr Agra knew and signed the said letter, then it implies that the said letter was accompanied by an invitation letter and a memorandum by the Secretary General which was approved after going through the checks and balances as explained earlier." The PRO cited that there has been no trace of the correspondence from the organisers or the Secretary General on any of the Council's record about the trip. "The reference number quoted on the said letter does not exist as of now in the Council's records. Even the reference number used on the said letter does not correspond to that of what is on the official file for such purposes. "The whole transactions on the Australian programme were done on the blind side of everybody, except those who benefited from it. Mr Issakah explained further that Agrah immediately informed the Police to unravel the real perpetrators, and queried the reason behind such action if he had masterminded the whole act. He therefore urged the Police to delve deep into the case and bring to book all those involved in the scandal to serve as a deterrent to others who may be habouring similar thoughts to defame 'Mother Ghana' by their lust for riches. Meanwhile the case is with the courts and a verdict is yet to be reached.