The long winding Eastern Region soccer brouhaha assumed yet another interesting dimension yesterday after an Accra High Court disqualified the recently-elected chairman, Abdul Ganiyu Lawal, and awarded a GH˘30,000 cost to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for failing to conduct the election in accordance with the order of the court.
In addition, the court, presided over by His Lordship Justice Erasmus Gyinae, declared the purported election which re-elected Mr Lawal into office null and void and ordered the GFA to swear in the other contestant, Nana Okoforobuor Nana Budu I, immediately.
The two parties are to report back to the court on August 7.
The latest twist comes in the wake of Mr Lawal’s swearing in by the GFA President as an Executive Committee member at a hurriedly-arranged ceremony at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence in Prampram on Monday, July 15. Two days earlier at the YMCA Hall in Koforidua, the incumbent had won an election by a landslide with 147 votes as against Nana Budu’s 17 at the Eastern Region FA Congress.
However, Justice Gyinae found the report on the election has not been in line with an earlier judgement on May 28 which barred old executive members of the Eastern Region FA from taking part in the election unless they had rendered audited accounts to congress for approval.
According to the plaintiff, Geoffrey Oteng Arthur, who was represented by counsel Gad Cobbina, he threw in a word of caution to the chairman of the Extraordinary Congress, Ambassador R.O. Solomon, that the purported audited accounts presented to congress on the day of election was not the accounts of the Lawal administration, but that was not adhered to.
Geoffrey Oteng Arthur, owner of Aburi Highlanders FC, contended that the accounts which was presented to the congress was signed by Messrs Emmanuel Gyimah and Kweku Eyiah, acting GFA General Secretary, and Executive Committee member respectively, instead of the Eastern RFA executives.
The same High Court had slapped a GH˘40,000 fine on the FA a few weeks ago for contempt after failing to meet an ultimatum by the court to conduct fresh election to pick new executives for Eastern Region which has not seen competitive soccer action for the past two years.