Parliament is to constitute a special committee to investigate the alleged corrupt dealings against the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, and other officials of the association as captured on an investigative video produced by the ace international journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The leadership of the House is yet to name the members of the committee from the Majority and Minority sides of the House.
Good morning Ghana. Thanks for your support in the fight against corruption in our football.
— The Anas Coalition (@anascoalition) June 7, 2018
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Michael Aaron Oquaye, gave the order for the formation of the committee following a request by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bodi, Mr Sampson Ahi. Some other MPs supported the call by Mr Ahi for a committee to investigate the matter.
The constitution of the committee has been deferred because the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had argued the Speaker should admit a substantive motion before the committee could be formed.
Even when the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka stood up to move the motion, the Majority Leader disagreed.
Although disagreed with the Majority Leader, the constitution of the committee was deferred.
The Anas’ expose’, which was premiered in Accra last Wednesday, captured Mr Nyantakyi and other GFA officials allegedly receiving sums of money for some favourable outcomes.
The video, which can easily pass as a blockbuster, which the Hollywood would be envious of, attracted hundreds of patrons who cheered, booed, laughed and screamed at the scenes.
The screening of the video had to be paused several times to cool the “tempers” of viewers who were visibly shocked at the ease with which Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s investigative team easily bribed referees, match commissioners, officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the National Sports Authority (NSA) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports with sums as low as GH¢300 to influence the showing of yellow and red cards, the award of penalties and engagement in visa deals.
We celebrate Daina Boateng, Protocol Officer at the Ministry of Sports. She rejected the bribe insisting we follow the right procedure for securing visa. #Number12#IamAnas#SayNoToCorruption@anasglobal pic.twitter.com/WiaXu9m0Y1
— The Anas Coalition (@anascoalition) June 6, 2018
The money paid to the officials ranged between GH¢300 and GH¢5,000.
Other forms of inducement to referees, match commissioners and officials included goats, sheep, cooking oil and rice.
Prof Oquaye said so far as the events captured in the video were issues of national or public interest, Parliament could investigate that matter.
He said Article 109 of the 1992 Constitution provided that Parliament had the power to make laws to regulate professional, trade and business organisations.
“It is to see whether they are working democratically, so if fraud is alleged, then it cannot be democratic. For that matter we are entitled to look into that matter and come to some conclusions one way or the other.
“We are in an era where we all agree to fight corruption, and Parliament should be the authority that is most interested in view of the fact that it is a representative body of the entire people of Ghana.
“Since no body or institution can assume immunity from parliamentary investigation, I ask that we form a special committee to quickly look into the matter from both sides of the House, then we will be able to know what recommendations we should make”, he said.
In his request to the House to set up a special committee on Anas exposé, Mr Ahi said people were wondering why Mr Nyantakyi had not stepped aside to allow for investigation to go into the issue.
He said since the GFA was a professional organisation, “the Constitution also gives us the opportunity to regulate the conduct and also go into any matter that has to do with GFA as a professional institution.”
Once the alleged corruption was a national issue, Mr Ahi suggested that the House should ask Mr Nyantakyi to step aside to allow independent investigation into the various allegations made against him.
Contributing to the issue, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, and the MP for Adansi Asokwa, Mr K.T. Hammond, supported the call for the investigation into the matter.
— The Anas Coalition (@anascoalition) June 6, 2018
Alhaji Muntaka and Mr Hammond supported the suggestion for the GFA President to step aside for the investigation.
But Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the issue of stepping aside was a moral persuasion, which Mr Nyantakyi could avail himself of.
However, he said, he had a difficulty for Parliament to ask Mr Nyantakyi to step aside.
Meanwhile barely 24 hours after the premiering of Number 12, the latest undercover investigations by the Tiger Eye PI, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, has officially written to the management Tiger Eye PI for a copy of the video.
The Director-General of the CID, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Maame Tiwaa Addo-Danquah told the yesterday that although the management of Tiger Eye PI had promised to give the CID a copy after the premier, the police had sent a letter making formal request for a copy of the investigative piece.
She said upon taking delivery of the video, the police would invite the President of the GFA, Mr Nyantakyi to continue with the investigations into the complaint lodged by the President against him.
She said together with Mr Nyantakyi, the investigators would watch the video during which clarifications and other issues would be discussed as part of the investigations.
On May 24, this year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reported Mr Nyantakyi to the police for investigation after he (the President) had watched portions of the latest investigative work by the ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, dubbed: “Number 12”.
Mr Nyantakyi was seen in the video allegedly using the names of the President and the Vice-President to extort millions of dollars from some supposed investors.
He was granted bail after two visits to the CID headquarters pending the premiering of the documentary.