Number 12: Anas sets record straight on former Ghana FA president and Kenyan referee controversy

Number 12: Anas sets record straight on former Ghana FA president and Kenyan referee controversy

Festus Chuma 18:00 - 03.04.2024

Anas Aremeyaw Anas has refuted bribery claims asserting integrity in his investigative work against corruption, amidst challenging accusations by Kwesi Nyantakyi.

Ghanaian investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas has issued a robust rebuttal to allegations made by former Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi who accused him of soliciting a $150,000 (Ksh19.4 million) bribe to suppress the explosive 'Number 12' documentary. 

The groundbreaking investigative work by Tiger Eye PI, released in June 2018, shook the foundations of football governance by exposing shady dealings and corruption within the sport's administration.

Nyantakyi, eyeing a parliamentary seat, claimed on Onua TV that Anas, through Lawyer Kwame Gyan of the University of Ghana, attempted to extort him. 

The former football administrator alleged to have paid $100,000 (Ksh12.9 million) of the demanded sum, which he says was later returned after the documentary aired on the BBC and other platforms associated with Tiger Eye PI.

However, Tiger Eye PI's statement dismissed Nyantakyi's claims as "preposterous," highlighting the absurdity of negating an investigation that took immense resources and time over a purported $150,000 bribe. 

"Tiger Eye P.I. and Anas Aremeyaw Anas categorically deny any involvement in soliciting or accepting bribes from Kwesi Nyantakyi prior to the publication of the documentary. The core mission of Tiger Eye and Anas is to expose and confront corruption, making the notion of shielding corrupt individuals utterly preposterous given the extensive resources and efforts invested in producing such exposés,” the statement detailed.

The investigative team further clarified that their legal affairs, including those related to the Number 12 documentary, were exclusively handled by Cromwell Gray LLP, a law firm based in Cantonments, Accra, negating any involvement with Lawyer Kwame Gyan.

 "At all material times, including before, during, and after the production of the Number 12 documentary, Tiger Eye and Anas have exclusively retained the legal representation of Cromwell Gray LLP," the statement affirmed, inviting Nyantakyi to seek legal recourse if his allegations bore any merit.

In a telling admission, Tiger Eye PI underscored Nyantakyi's self-confessed bribery attempts as validation for the FIFA-imposed lifetime ban, which was later reduced to 15 years. 

This ban stemmed from his involvement in bribery and conflict of interest, in clear violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

 "Mr. Nyantakyi, by his admission, is a self-confessed bribe-giver, and a bribe-taker for attempting to bribe his way out of a painstaking investigation into his conduct. Per his self-confessed bribery attempt, Mr. Nyantakyi has proven that the life-ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for conflict of interest and bribery offences provided for by FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE) was justified,” the Tiger Eye PI statement argued.

The documentary also had repercussions beyond Ghana's borders. 

Kenyan assistant referee Aden Range Marwa was handed a lifetime ban after being implicated in the report, forced to withdraw from his duties in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

Marwa, who had been selected based on his impressive refereeing at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 and 2013, was caught on tape receiving a $600 (Ksh77,938) bribe, although he has denied any wrongdoing.

The Tiger Eye PI statement concluded by distancing Anas Aremeyaw Anas from any perceived image redemption effort by Nyantakyi who is vying for a political position. 

It emphasised that the determination of his eligibility lies with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) not with investigative revelations.

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