General News of Thursday, 1 November 2018
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) wants President Nana Akufo-Addo to “open himself up for transparent and credible investigations by an independent body” to clear his name in the bribery scandal unearthed in the ‘Number 12’ exposé undertaken by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The opposition party is also asking the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police Service to inform Ghanaians about the status of their investigations into the scandal which has tarnished the image of Ghanaians and Ghana.
The NDC’s call, comes on the heels of FIFA’s decision to place a life ban on the former Ghana Football Association (GFA) boss Kwesi Nyantakyi.
Mr. Nyantakyi was first handed a 90-day provisional ban in June 2018, after the showing of a video and audio evidence of allegations of corruption leveled against Mr. Nyantakyi by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in his piece titled, Number 12.
The suspension was further extended by ninety days in September 2018, before the announcement of the lifetime ban on October 30, 2018.
The credibility of the Ghana Football Association, which manages all national football activities in the country has been dented by Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ investigative film which exposes massive rot and corruption in local football.
Life Ban & Huge Fine
Football’s world governing body, on Tuesday, announced that Mr Nyantakyi has been banned from taking part in all football-related activities and the ban takes effect immediately.
FIFA’s Adjudicatory Chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee found Mr Nyantakyi guilty of having violated Article 19 (conflict of interest), Article 21 (Bribery and corruption) and Article 22 (Commission) of the FIFA Code of Ethics, 2012 edition.
Mr Nyantakyi was additionally fined 500,000 Swiss Francs (over GHS 2.4million).
The life ban follows extensive investigations into the conduct of Mr Nyantakyi who was captured in an explosive expose by Ghanaian investigator Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Anas and Tigereye PI Petition To Fifa
On Wednesday, June 6, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee received a complaint and request from journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas through Cromwell Gray LLP, to commence investigations into the conduct of Kwesi Nyantakyi based on the content of the journalists’ latest investigative film titled ‘Number12’.
The piece captured Kwesi Nyantakyi in a compromised position. He was filmed supposedly taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.
The video among other things captured top officials of the football association including Mr Nyantakyi, taking bribes to influence the invitation of players to the national team, influencing the duration of playing time offered to some players and influencing the selection of unfit players and referees to participate in games.
Also, more than 100 referees were caught on tape taking bribes to manipulate the outcome of games in a team’s favour.
Also in the said video, Mr Nyantakyi was seen making several claims about the President and a host of other top government appointees and negotiating with undercover journalists posing as investors.
According to him, the President is broke and would welcome his palms being greased with $5 million.
”I know for a fact that Nana Addo sold his properties to win the elections so his family is very broke. His brothers are always asking for money, therefore, the $5 million will ease the burden,” he stated.
However, responding to Nyantakyi’s claims, President Akufo-Addo in a tape recording on the “Number 12” video said he “knows nothing” about what the embattled GFA boss’ assertions, adding that “it is completely false.”
Apology To The President
Mr Nyantakyi later in a letter apologised to the president for his indiscretion.
“I hereby apologise unreservedly to the father of the nation, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, H.E. the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State for indiscretion in associating them with the private conversations on the video,” Mr Nyantakyi noted in a statement on Friday 8 June 2018.
According to him, he “committed series of errors of indiscretion” in “private discussions I had with ‘scammers’ who deceived me into thinking they were genuine persons interested in investing in our country”.
“I wish to clarify that at no time prior to or subsequent to any deliberations on the video did I consult, contact or inform any government official about discussions on the video. I take sole and personal responsibility for the proceedings on the video.”
Clear Your Name
But minutes after the news of Mr Nyantaki’s life ban went viral, and in spite of the fact that he (Nyantakyi) had distanced the president from his questionable dealings, the opposition NDC, through its National Organizer, Kofi Adams, issued a statement insisting that since Nana Akufo Addo has been implicated in the exposé as “the head of a bribe collection syndicate at the Presidency,” he must clear his name.
“…Mr. Nyantakyi also suggested in the said video, that such acts have made the President amenable to his influence. We are appalled, that unlike FIFA, the government of Ghana has made little effort to look into the matter with a view to bringing culpable officials to book, despite available evidence…We urge President Akufo-Addo to open himself up for transparent and credible investigations by an independent body to clear his name in the said matter.
“We expect that government will take a cue from FIFA’s firm action and take steps to put this matter to rest in a manner that restores dignity and confidence in the integrity of the Presidency and our football as a whole,” portions of the statement read.
Read the full statement below
National Democratic Congress Statement on FIFA’s Lifetime Ban of Kwasi Nyantakyi
The National Democratic Congress has taken note of FIFA’s lifetime ban imposed on Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, the former President of the Ghana Football Association and a close confidant of President Akuffo-Addo.
This lifetime ban is the result of painstaking investigations conducted by the investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, which exposed corruption and bribery involving senior Ghana Football Association officials.
FIFA’s decision to ban Mr. Nyantakyi after months of rigorous investigations raises serious questions about the involvement of President Akuffo-Addo in the bribery scandal; and also brings to the fore, once again, the need for the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to inform Ghanaians about the status of their investigations into this scandal which has tarnished the image of Ghanaians and Ghana.
It would be recalled that Mr. Nyantakyi was caught on video revealing very worrying corrupt practices and in the process implicated the President of the Republic, H. E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo as the head of a bribe collection syndicate at the Presidency.
More pointedly, Mr. Nyantakyi was seen in the said tape, arranging for the payment of $ 5 million to the President and similar amounts for several top government officials, in order to facilitate the award of juicy contracts to supposed investors.
Mr. Nyantakyi also suggested in the said video, that such acts have made the President amenable to his influence.
We are appalled, that unlike FIFA, the government of Ghana has made little effort to look into the matter with a view to bringing culpable officials to book, despite available evidence.
We find as completely inadequate, the purported investigation by the Police CID whose conduct has served to compromise any outcome.
We urge President Akufo-Addo to open himself up for transparent and credible investigations by an independent body to clear his name in the said matter.
We expect that government will take a cue from FIFA’s firm action and take steps to put this matter to rest in a manner that restores dignity and confidence in the integrity of the Presidency and our football as a whole.
30th October, 2018