General News of Friday, 2 November 2018
A Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Hadzide, says the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), has completed its investigations into alleged crimes committed by former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi, and will soon present a docket to the Attorney General for advice and possible prosecution.
“…They make the case that the police have abandoned the investigation. They have been caught flat footed. Now the police have announced that they have finished the investigations and that a docket by the end of week will be presented to the Attorney General for advice,” he said on the Breakfast Daily on Citi TV.
Nyatakyi is currently serving a lifetime ban from all football -related activities, a punishment given to him by world football governing body, FIFA.
FIFA also imposed on Nyantakyi a fine of 500,000 Swiss Francs (Ghc2.4 million), after investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, released a video which captured the former GFA president indulging in some supposed dubious transactions.
Mr. Nyantakyi himself has described the punishment as “harsh and unfair”, and has served notice he will be seeking a review.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee found Nyantakyi guilty of bribery and corruption and conflict of interest.
Some Ghanaians after FIFA’s verdict, took on the Ghana Police Service for delaying the investigation and prosecution of Nyantakyi.
But speaking in a separate interview with Citi News, Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Kpemka, said his outfit has been informed by the CID that the docket is now ready for review and action.
Joseph Kpemka indicated that with the docket ready, government has the basis to take any legal action against Mr Nyantakyi based on the outcome of their review of the docket.
“I can confirm on authority that the CID is saying that they are now ready with their docket, and they will be forwarding it to us sometime today or tomorrow, to enable us go ahead and look at it. And possibly, if we come to the conclusion that an offense has been committed by reviewing it legally, then the public will actually know what is going on…the right things will be done.”
“The appropriate thing will be done, and Ghanaians will be briefed. When we receive the docket, we will review it with a legal eye and we are not reviewing to satisfy public anger, but we are reviewing it to satisfy our constitutional mandate,” he added.
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 another ninety days in September 2018, before the announcement of the lifetime ban on Tuesday.
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.
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 its President, 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.
Following the first screening of the video which attracted more than 3,000 persons, many called for a complete dissolution of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and immediate resignation of its embattled president, Kwesi Nyantakyi.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was also the first Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) eventually resigned from all football-related positions few days after the video was aired.
Then the suspension from Fifa followed.
At a point, he was investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service after President Akufo-Addo filed a complaint when he watched excerpts of Anas’ video, in which the former FA President was using his name to lure foreign investors.
Ghana gets FIFA-appointed Normalization Committee
Following the eventual halt of football activities in Ghana after the corruption exposé, the government of Ghana attempted to dissolve the FA using the courts, but faced stiff opposition from members of the FA.
Eventually, government and the FA came to an agreement to allow Fifa, to mediate in the matter. Fifa in the end, set up a Normalization Committee for the country in September 2018, which has been given a period of six months to sort out the issues and restore Ghana football to normalcy.
What becomes of Nyantakyi’s suits against Anas?
In the latter part of September 2018, Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi sued undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
That suit was the second time Mr. Nyantakyi was suing Anas and his Tigereye PI firm. The earlier suit also at a High Court, was specifically about defamation.
Nyantakyi wants the High Court to declare that Anas’ secret recording of their conversations as well as publishing same, violates his [Nyantakyi’s] “fundamental human rights to privacy and confidentiality in my dealings with others.”
He wants the court to also declare that the recordings violated his “right to dignity” because he wasn’t consulted before the piece was premiered, and thus prayed the apex court to award damages against Anas and his Tigereye PI firm for the said violations.
It is now unclear what becomes of Mr. Nyantakyi’s suits, considering the turn of events.