Revelations coming out of Ghana’s commission of inquiry into the various embarrassing incidents that marred the country’s campaign at the last FIFA World Cup in Brazil should surely come as a surprise to many.
In Tuesday’s sitting at the media centre of Accra Stadium in Ghana, Lawrence Acheampong, a close ally of former Ghanaian Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, told the Commission that a fee of $19,831 was charged by an Angolan "errand boy" for the Ghana World Cup Committee.
He said the Angolan, named Benabe, was paid the huge amount just for taking the World Cup committee around town during the World Cup.
That is before Acheampong, who described himself as the "eye and leg" of the former sports minister, said a staggering fee of $135,000 was blown on just food items purchased from Redemais, a supermarket in Brazil.
Acheampong went on to tell the commission, led by Justice Senyo Dzamefe, that transporting the food items from Redemais to the team's camp of about 20 km cost Ghana $1,950, describing the distance as "from Accra Stadium to Madina".
The purchase order for food items for day one, costing $41,130 read:
"Chicken thigh- 50kg, Fish- 50k, Beef – 100kg, Gizzard – 50kg, Chicken Wings – 50kg, Beans – 25kg, Gari – 25kg,Tomato – 20 tins, Tomatoes – 20 tins, Onions – 4 bags, Garlic – 4 bags, Spaghetti – 10 bags, Rice – no quantity, Oil - one big gallon, Pepper/carrots/lettuce — no quantity."
The commission wondered why the committee had to hire an agency – Al Continental, which charged huge commissions for services like renting of buses and event organization, after visiting Brazil three times for feasibilities studies.
The commission also inquired as to why the final purchase order recorded the highest fee of $51,000 after it was obvious that the number of fans in camp had reduced drastically.
The commission, tasked with reconciling all the issues from the Mundial in South America, was formed by the Ghanaian government in July under strong condemnation from FIFA, who said the inquiry is tantamount to interference with the Ghana Football Association’s work and might result in a ban for the West African country.
The graft revelations coming out of the sittings have gripped the country’s attention, with more on the way as more witnesses prepare take to the stands today.