Renowned undercover journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who has been labeled as an investigative terrorist by a Court of competent jurisdiction in Ghana, has decided to withdraw as a witness in the case against former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, running from his own shadow in a extraordinary turn of event.
The decision comes after a recent ruling by the High Court in Accra that granted permission for Anas to testify wearing a mask in open court, with the condition that he reveals his face to Nyantakyi in the judges’ chambers beforehand.
Anas’s investigative firm, Tiger Eye P.I, released a statement claiming potential risks to his safety and security. The firm highlighted the dangers faced by their team, citing the assassination of their colleague, Ahmed Hussein Suale, who was a star witness in the same case.
Suale was murdered on the day he had engagements with the Attorney General’s office regarding his testimony against Nyantakyi. The firm also mentioned subsequent media attacks against him, including the revealing of his identity on national television and social media.
Tiger Eye emphasized that Anas’s request to keep his identity hidden is essential due to his role as an undercover agent and the risk that revealing his identity would pose to his safety. The firm supported Anas’s decision, noting that it is crucial to prioritize caution to prevent any potential harm to their investigators.
The criminal trial stems from the controversial Number 12 documentary, in which Nyantakyi is alleged to have collected a bribe from an investigative journalist posing as a football investor. Nyantakyi was handed a lifetime ban from football but was later reduced to 15 years following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Earlier this year, Nyantakyi was extremely excited after the dismissal of a GHC25 million defamatory suit against the MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong by Anas.
Anas alleged that Agyapong had defamed him, and sought aggravated damages of GHC25 million, claiming that Agyapong had published defamatory material against him.
In a ruling, Justice Eric Baah held that Anas had failed to prove that Agyapong had defamed him by airing the documentary ‘Who Watches the Watchman?’.
On the contrary, the judge ruled that the documentary had exposed corrupt practices that Anas and his associates were involved in. The court further held that Agyapong had provided sufficient evidence to prove that Anas had used his findings to solicit money from individuals implicated in the evidence he had gathered.
“From the above, I hold that the plaintiff is a blackmailer who uses blackmail to extort money from his opponents and people he does not like. What the plaintiff is doing is not investigative journalism but investigative terrorism,” the judge said, awarding a cost of GH¢50,000 against Anas.
Agyapong dedicated his victory to Nyantakyi, who lost all his positions, including CAF Vice President, following Anas’ controversial football documentary in 2018.
“We have to be bold to speak the truth. Anas goes ahead to [allegedly] defame people and gets away,” Agyapong said, as quoted by TV3. “It is only in this country that a journalist covers his face to go and give witness while Supreme Court judges are sitting there… Anas has to come out and apologize. All I am saying is the victory is for Kwasi Nyantakyi.”
Nyantakyi, who was in court, expressed his joy with the ruling, saying to Oman FM, “The high court’s decision testifies to the truth that Anas Aremwyaw Anas is not honest but as described by the court, he is a blackmailer and an extortionist.”
He also added that “The judge also described his job as an investigative terrorist instead of an investigative journalist. He has been totally disgraced. He once portrayed himself as an angel but today I’m not even sure he is at the devil’s level yet.”
Here is the entire press statement issued by the office of the run-away journalist.
NYANTAKYI AND LAWYERS TO SEE ANAS’S FACE BEFORE COURT PROCEEDINGS
RE: REPUBLIC V. KWESI NYANTAKYI AND ANOTHER
1.Tiger Eye P.I has taken notice of the ruling by the High Court sitting in Accra to allow undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to testify wearing mask in open court on condition that he shows his face to the accused person in the judges’ chambers first.
2.Anas had earlier agreed to testify as a witness for the prosecution in the above styled case after Ahmed Hussein Suale was gruesomely murdered, on condition that his identity is protected.
3.Anas’s request for the protection of his identity stems from his role as an undercover agent and the real and elevated risk that revealing his identity to the accused person will severely compromise his physical security and personal safety.
4.It should be recalled that the late Ahmed Hussein Suale, a star witness in this case, was assassinated in broad daylight in 2019. His assassination occurred on the same day that he had had engagements with the Attorney General’s office on his testimony against the accused person in above styled case.
5.Prior to his gruesome murder, the late Ahmed Suale had been threatened with death by Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi and had been the subject of callous media attacks for his role as a star witness in the case, culminating in the revealing of his identity on national television and social media by Mr Kennedy Agyapong, the MP for Assin-Central constituency.
6.As much as Anas is willing and ready to testify for the prosecution, doing so under the condition specified by the court, presents a clear and present danger to his security and safety, especially because of the issues chronicled above.
7.Under these circumstances, prudence requires that he declines the invitation to endanger his life and accordingly declines the invitation to reveal his identity to the accused person in the judges’ chamber or any other place.
8.Tiger Eye endorses the position of Anas and states that it is proper and wise to err on the side of caution to avoid any potential attack on another of its investigators.
9.Tiger Eye’s position is further buttressed by the unrelenting, coordinated, and well-financed media and other campaigns by private and State actors to undermine its operations and the Anas principle, which stand in their way of amassing corruption and social injustice.
- Nevertheless, Tiger Eye shall remain unwavering and relentless in its fight against corruption and societal ills. Anas remains in high spirit and is grateful to the good people of Ghana for their support and protection.
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