Our very own Big Brother, Anas Aremeyao Anas has no doubt ruffled a lot of feathers with his Number 12 investigative piece which has led to the resignation of Football Mafia Kwasi Nyantakyi. One person who appears particularly ruffled is Hon. Kennedy Agyapong who has been on a smear campaign on Anas, climaxing with the release of his own piece dubbed “Who Watches The Watchman?” with was aired yesterday on Net 2 TV. Anas was on UTV today to clear the air on some of the allegations made against him by his detractors.
He was asked by the host if he particularly set out to go after Kwasi Nyankyi in particular with his latest investigative piece, to which he responded, “What we do when we begin with investigation is to look for evidence of what we’re likely to get and we were not surprised when we got Kwasi Nyantakyi because the prima facie evidence that we had obtained indicated that he was quite… he was someone who you could get using those terminologies or better still those styles… You would likely find him getting his hands dirty in that. Now the other referees also, we knew because though I’m not a sports person I had spoken to sports journalist even including sports journalists from your station. That’s what you do.
This job you can never become a master of it all. You speak to people who have the knowledge and they explain to you so there had been many incidents where we’ve had sports people complaining about poor officiating, poor referees, referees taking money to give yellow and red cards and all that so all these put together indeed gave me the clear attention so if you look at a number of 77 referees, you look at Ghana Sports Authority where we had about 16 and even the Ghana Football Association. So it was not concentrated on a single personality. It was about football and we did everything football. Perhaps if he was not connected to football we wouldn’t have anything to do with him in that story.”
On claims that he had received an offer of $100,000 from Kwasi Nyantakyi to drop the story, the notorious investigative journalist retorted, “I have said that he who alleges must prove it. I mean I can’t see why anybody would not want to mention a third party who I have sent. I have told those who are making those claims. As for me, I have never, and please mark the word, NEVER taken bribe from anybody in respect of either Kwasi Nyantayi or any other story I have done in my entire life.
You know what that means to me, if I’m found culpable of taking bribe? It means I will lose all the jobs I do across the world. I have to be smart enough. How much is that money compared to the money I make when I work outside? So nobody in his right sense will risk it. I have said if they think I have given money to a third party it is up to them, let them mention the name.
It’s fair, and that’s why I have already taken some people to court, to prove those allegations. This is a law-governed society. You don’t just go about talking. You supply people with the needed evidence so that we can move forward as a nation. This country cannot be moving only based on rumors.”
On Kennedy Agyapong and his rather bogus “Who Watches The Watchman?”, he reacted thus. “Well, I’d rather not respond to Kennedy. I think he’s a Ghanaian, I have a lot of respect for people who are vociferous in what they think. So it is fair comment, but I am saying that we don’t speak in a vacuum when we speak. We must be able to provide evidence regarding what we say. Every Ghanaian is entitled to ask questions about my methodology. It’s normal, it’s nice. It would not be the first time.
And I don’t want to make reference to Ken or anybody, no. Look, in those days when we did the CEPS story people came out and fought. We did the judged scandal, people fought. It is always normal that people will come and fight your story. Sometimes lack of knowledge and other times too just being mischievous.
Look, there are four things I have realized that happen during stories and maybe this is much more off what I’ll call an advice to my colleague journalists across the African continent. There are some people who ar called the hot-air blowers. They exist in every jurisdiction. When you begin a story these people will first cut and attack the integrity of that story. That’s the first thing they do. And when they fail at breaking the story they will take you credibility and try to see whether they can rip it apart. All while they do this this they will tell you that if you show then I will do this. It’s normal. What they try to do is take your focus from the story. Look I’m dealing with 77 referees,… I’m building a case, I’m going to FIFA. SO anything that derails my attention now is not useful for me.
So when they do the second part of breaking your credibility and it doesn’t work the third thing they will do is to come after your life. They will do everything to make sure that you’re killed. Again, when those people try and you increase your security then they’ll do the last thing, call people to kill you. Look, many African journalists have not survivd this. We will survive it because our hands are clean and look, I learnt under the formidable and energetic hands of Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako.
I was purged off fear long ago. So these things, they don’t do anything to me. They rather strengthen me and tells me that I am on the right lane. Let’s not make the mistake of taking away people’s right to speak. We have to allow them, that’s how we can build this nation. Everybody’s voice is important. But the key thing is, can you substantiate what you have said?”