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Conflict of interest: Brazil 2014 secretariat boss awarded his own company contracts

Thursday 28th August , 2014 6:55 pm
Ex-sports minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah (left) and Fred Darko, Brazil 2014 Secretariat boss
Ex-sports minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah (left) and Fred Darko, Brazil 2014 Secretariat boss

Fred Darko, the Project Coordinator for Ghana’s 2014 World Cup secretariat, has admitted to a conflict of interest in the awarding of a contract to his own company, E-volution International.

Darko, who is the Managing Director of the said company, confessed this under questioning from the Chairman of the Brazil 2014 Commission of Inquiry on Thursday.

Justice Senyo Dzamefe and the two other members of the commission forced Darko to reveal that his company won a bid to organise fan parks around the country during the tournament.

“Do you remember that yesterday I asked you in what capacity you were appointed to head this secretariat? And do you remember you said it was you and not E-volution?” the chairman inquired.

“Yes, my lord. I said I was appointed in my own capacity as Fred Darko,” the project coordinator said.

Darko tried to explain that the involvement of his company came much later in his role, when the chance came up to organise fan parks for headline sponsor of the national team, GNPC.

But he was insistent that the role E-volution played was as a private initiative, separate from his functions as a coordinator.

“My lord, I did not hide my intention to bid from the other members of the committee or the sports minister [Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah].”

Darko revealed that eight other companies had also bid for the rights to organise the fan parks.

“The cat is out of the bag now,” Justice Dzamefeh said.

Commission member Moses Foh-Amoaning went on: “But you are a professional and you should know that this is basic practice. Quite clearly in your capacity there was a clear conflict of interest.”

Also of note on day 11 of the hearings was that Darko further contradicted his evidence from Wednesday, when he had said that the 15 selected ambassadors had been paid $200 per diem daily. Former sports minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah had also mentioned the same amount.

However, the commission got to know that $250 was the correct amount.

The sitting resumes on Monday, September 1.
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By: Gary Al-Smith/Citifmonline.com/Ghana

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