Making the news this week is the disqualification of two leading candidates of the upcoming Ghana Football Presidential Elections on the 28th of April, 2011. A brief message on the website of the Ghana Football Association made this announcement without explaining why these candidates were disqualified. This led to much speculation and rumour mongering. Radio Gold caught up with Mr. R. O. Solomon, chair of the electoral Committee of the Ghana Football Associaltion who was kind enough to explain why Mr. Neil Armstrong Mortagbe and Mr. Vincent Sowah Odotei were disqualified.
I bring you the full interview.
“Let me explain that the Electoral Committee does not have power to disqualify any candidate. We were to make recommendations based on examination of the application forms submitted by the candidates to the Executive Committee of the FA. It is the nomination that were filed by the candidates that did not meet the requirement. No one has disqualified them [Vincent and Neil].”
“By the GFA statutes, an applicant must be nominated by a member of the GFA. His nomination must be endorsed by at least 10 members of the GFA. Mr. Alhassan for instance, he was not able to get GFA members to nominate them. He was nominated by Division I and Division II clubs who do not have the mandate to do so. We drew their attention and he offered to withdraw from the competition.”
“Lets take Mr. Odotei for instance, his nomination was nominated by one Mr. Salim of the Volta Regional FA as a representative of the VRFA. However, the VRFA wrote 2 letters to deny endorsing Mr. Odotei. They however declared their support for Mr. Nyantakyi. His list of supporters were not up to the required number of 10.”
“Mr. NeiArmstrong Mortagbe had 2 problems. First, Bofoakwa had supported Kwasi Nyantakyi through Mr. J. Y. Appiah as director of the club. Mr. Mortagbe’s nomination was supported by Mr. Takyi Arhin as the chairman of the IMC of Bofoakwa. Now, Bofoakwa confirmed to us that Takkyi Arhin is not the IMC chairman of Bofoakwa, rather he is an IMC member. We called Mr. Arhin in the presence of Mr. Mortagbe. Mr. Takyi Arhin spoke to our hearing that he had endorsed Mr. Mortagbe as a member of the IMC and not as the Chairman of the IMC. We then asked him [Takyi Arhin] whether he had the authority of the IMC to nominate Mr. Mortagbe but he could not confirm it.”
“The second problem with Mr. Mortagbe was with Heart of Lions’ endorsement. The CEO of Heart of Lions had endorsed Mr. Nyantakyi in his capacity as CEO. Mr. Yashin Laryea, the Team Manager of Heart of Lions had also endorsed Mr. Mortagbe. Then The President of the club wrote to us that he supported Mr. Mortagbe. We considered the capacity of the CEO of Lions to take action based on The Companies Code Act 179. We considered that the CEO had the authority to act. We also thought that with this authority to act, if we heeded tothe Club President’s letter, we would have disgraced Mr. Nyantakyi since he had relied on the authority of the CEO.”
On forged signatures, Mr. Solomon said: ” For Mr. Odotei, we had the initial of Mr. Isaac Ashong of Nania FC. We contacted Mr. Ashong and he confirmed that he had supported Mr. Odotei’s nomination. We also noted 5 initials of persons who had supported Mr. Mortagbe’s nomination forms. We tried contacting them, but we could only get Mr. Takyi Arhin. We could not get the other four. It appeared they had traveled to the London to watch the football game, between Ghana and England.”