Australia Visa Scandal: Speaker Ocquaye shields Sports Minister

The Minster for Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, has told parliament that his outfit is not in the position to answer questions concerning the “Australia Visa Scandal”.

When questioned on the floor of parliament today on the issue, the minister noted that the pending issue- Australia Commonwealth Games Visa Racketeering Scandal, has been referred to the Ministry of National Security for Investigations, hence, his inability to speak on the matter.

The minister asserted that, the Ministry of National Security took over in probing into the said scandal and therefore, questions regarding the findings and revelations could not be answered by him.

“Rt. Hon Speaker, on the 6th of April, 2018, this matter was referred to the Ministry of National Security for investigations. Mr Speaker, I will therefore not be in a position to speak further on it,” he told parliament.

Questioning the Sports Minister, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mion constituency in the Northern Region, Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, argued that the minister should be forced to answer queries regarding the issue, since the matter is not before a court.

The speaker of parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, however advised that, all queries concerning the “sensitive” issue should be directed to the Ministry of National Security for Investigation through the right channels. This according to him is because, as stated earlier by the sports minster, the issue has been referred to them and they are in a better position to properly answer questions regarding the “scandal”.

The Australia Visa Scandal

The scandal arose in 2018 after it was alleged that 50 people who paraded themselves as journalists were refused entry into Australia for the Olympic Games by their Immigration Service after sufficiently failing them.

According to a Deputy Minster for information, Pius Enam Hadzide, who was then the deputy Sports Minster, the Ministry were not mandated to carry along journalists to the games in Australia. 

The deputy minister noted that, each member of the entourage that made it to the games were accounted and selected through the appropriate means; also, “at the international games, [his outfit] was not responsible for journalists. [Their job] was focused on the contingent”

The 50 people who allegedly posed as journalists from Ghana were denied entry into Australia for the games for failing to meet the criteria set for journalists. They were deported and investigated by authorities, which triggered speculations that the then-deputy sports minster had attempted “smuggling” them into Australia on false pretenses.

Source: Jonas Danquah: 

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