Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports Pius Enam Hadzide has claimed innocent despite being suspended for his involvement in Ghana’s scandalous participation at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Numerous persons who applied to join the Ghana contingent at the Games reportedly posed as “fake journalists” which led to some being deported.
The “fake visa” scandal as it has come to be known caused outrage among many Ghanaians, who called for a probe into the subject.
On Thursday, though, a letter from the President asked Mr. Hadzide and the Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah, to step aside whiles investigations proceed.
Despite welcoming the suspension, the deputy Sports Minister insists he is innocent of any allegations.
According to him, he did nothing wrong and is, therefore, confident, that he will soon be vindicated.
“My understanding of the preliminary investigation does not mean that I have done anything wrong. If you ask who was in charge of the International Games Committee, I was the one, so for me that is enough basis for me to be asked to stand aside for investigations to commence.
“Let’s all be patient and have faith in the investigation. I know that the truth will be uncovered; and the truth will be that concerning this issue at hand, Pius Hadzide, Deputy Minister, I don’t know anything about it,” he told Accra-based Asempa FM.
He added that he was not aware that any fake journalist applied to travel to Australia to cover the Commonwealth Games, saying he was equally surprised after news of the visa scandal broke.
“I don’t know them [60 fake journalists]; I don’t know how they managed to get there. These are part of issues the investigations will unravel, and I’m praying that very soon the investigations will be fast-tracked and bring out the findings. But the truth in this is that I don’t know anything about the scandal.
“I was surprised when I heard that some Ghanaian journalists have been deported because I didn’t know that journalists even are allowed to attend such events. No journalist came to tell me that they would like to attend the sporting event.”