#12 highlighted importance of free press – Iain Walker applauds
British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker, has applauded Ghana on how the press can operate freely without any interference in the wake of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas' expose´ on rot in the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
“First of all credit to Ghana…the way Ghana works with openness that that kind of documentary can be made and can be shared,” he said.
According to him, it was challenging watching the investigative piece but the whole event highlighted the importance of free press.
“I think in many countries if such a documentary was to be made it will never be allowed to be aired,” he noted.
The diplomat said that, he expects that various questions raised in the investigative documentary will be investigated thoroughly.
Mr Walker told GhanaWeb’s Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on ’21 minutes with KKB’ that, Ghana has been wrestling with corruption for some time with the president setting up the office of the special prosecutor to deal with issues related to corruption in the country.
He said issues of corruption should be taken seriously and also it should be grit else Ghana will have problems.
“You can never do enough against corruption…the one that I was thinking about of corruption is like a seed that if you plant and bury it, the root will spread and will become wider,” he said when asked if Ghana is doing enough regarding the fight against corruption.
“Things like Anas’ exposé reinforces the importance of transparency, the importance of visibility of action,” he noted.
He added that the fight against corruption is not an event where an individual becomes non-corrupt in a moment but it is a constant process…."we got to keep on fighting to make sure that transparency exists across all the areas highlighted and more.”
On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas premiered his investigative documentary titled ‘Number 12’ after officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) were captured engaging in various corrupt activities.
GFA Boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi, was seen among other things, interacting with persons he believed to be investors, quoting several sums of money to be given to those political figures and himself in order to facilitate the deal.
Kwasi Nyantakyi's alleged activities in the video warranted a police investigation on orders of president Akufo-Addo for a charge of ‘defrauding under false pretences’.
Several referees and officials of the National Sports Authority were shown in various scenes, taking bribes; various sums of monies to influence Ghana Premier League games in favour of one side.
Anas' Number 12 expose was done in collaboration with the BBC.
Meanwhile, government has set up a 5-member committee to manage the football related matters as a result of the injunction placed on the Ghana Football Association will be expected to be inaugurated in the coming days by Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah.
In a statement signed by Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid (PhD), the committee will oversee the “administration of football and other related matters” in the country, while more permanent measures are worked out to sanitize the local game.
The formation of the committee is the latest of government’s reactions to the revelation on corruption in football in Ghana by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The members of the committee are Dr. Kofi Amoah, who is the chairperson, Cudjoe Fianoo, Chairman of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) as Secretary, Abedi Pele, former Black Stars skipper, Rev Osei Kofi, former Black Stars and Asante Kotoko player, and Eva Okyere, former sports journalist.
The committee’s spokesperson will be Peace FM’s, Dan Kweku Yeboah.