Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, has denied any involvement in an alleged kickback scandal reported on Monday. The embattled minister is being accused by reports by Joy FM saying the station had seen a trail of alleged payments of kickbacks from E-Volution International.
E-Volution was the marketing agency in charge of providing fan parks around the country during the World Cup, but Afriyie-Ankrah has responded.
“My attention has been drawn to a post regarding a supposed Kickback investigative story that will break on Joy News on 23rd December 2014,” the statement, a copy of which was emailed to Citi Sports desk, begins.
The statement goes on: “I categorically deny knowledge of and/or involvement in any such deal. I have been made aware of a document purported to be the payment voucher that has my name as well as Fred Darko and a staff of GNPC. Forgery The former minister in the statement also suspects foul play by the reporter of the story, Manasseh Azure Awuni.
“The authenticity of that document is being challenged. Indeed I am told the police has tried to invite Manasseh for the past three days but has been unsuccessful. It is important that Manasseh responds to the Police investigations to help us all unravel the true facts about these documents since it smacks of forgery.” The allegations in the report also say Afriyie-Ankrah took kickbacks from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the operations committee of the Brazil 2014 World Cup tournament. “In as much as journalists are encouraged to do their work unhindered, it is only fair that a thorough work is done before putting damaging stories out there,” the statement said.
“An example is the Ghana Gas story by the same Manasseh that unfolded to show that nothing untoward gone on.” Mr. Afriyie Ankrah says his “lawyers are studying the issue to advise me accordingly.”
The allegations according to the report, E-Volution International, an events and marketing agency, was awarded a GH¢ 1 million contract to organise four public viewing centres in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi during the 2014 Brazil World Cup. But apart from the Accra Mall, the other three public viewing centres showed only the three group matches Ghana played in the tournament. The allegations say that three separate internal payment vouchers was approved for payment of money to former Youth and Sports Minister, the GNPC and the operations committee of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
All the three payment vouchers, dated June 11, 2014, are signed and approved by the C.E.O of E-volution International, Mr Fred Darko. Darko was also the project coordinator for the 2014 World Cup. Fight back Attempts to reach Fred Darko – the boss at E-Volution – were not successful, but his lawyer, Alex Abban responded in an SMS response, saying: “The reports are false. We will respond in detail soon.”
Citi Sports understands that Afriyie-Ankrah, who was at the NDC Congress throughout the weekend is returning to Accra to begin dealing with the matter.