A former Minister for Information and Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has called for the government officials mentioned in the investigative film by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to be investigated following the comments by former GFA president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, which he believes border on corruption in governance.
Kwesi Nyantakyi’s comments were captured in the undercover piece by Anas and his TigerEye PI team, who set out to highlight corruption in Ghana football but were intrigued by Kwesi Nyantakyi’s claims of deep insight into the workings of political establishments in Ghana including the Presidency and certain Ministries.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, in the #Number12 exposé, boasted of his close connections to President Akufo-Addo and attempted to persuade the supposed foreign investors to part with some $12 million, a portion of which would be given to the President, his vice, Dr. Bawumia and other senior officials of government to enable the investor get numerous government contracts.
Kwesi Nyantakyi also, among other things. outlined his grand strategy to launder money through his private micro-finance company in Ghana while attempting to secure sponsorship for the local league.
Following the premiere of the investigative piece, which was attended by thousands of Ghanaians in Accra, the government announced that it was taking steps to dissolve the Ghana Football Association (GFA) over the matter.
The Police have since taken over the premises of the GFA describing it as a “crime scene,” but Mahama Ayariga who is also a lawyer, has kicked against the government’s moves to dissolve the FA.
In an earlier Citi News interview, he said the GFA was a registered private association that cannot be dissolved by the government but by the company’s own Board.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, he said the government should stop being heavy handed on the GFA but focus on clearing its name from the controversy.
He said state agencies mandated to conduct investigations must probe the presidency over the allegations made by Kwesi Nyantakyi in the exposé.
Kwesi Nyantakyi also stated in the documentary that the country’s road sector was very lucrative as contract sums were usually inflated to make room for kickbacks and bribes.
According to Mahama Ayariga, despite the government’s denial and attempts to dissociate itself from Mr. Nyantakyi’s comments, the claims must be investigated to ascertain whether or not they were true.
“Denial is natural. Some of the people who were caught red-handed taking money are all denying. Let’s go and take contracts that have been awarded under this a government, let’s access the values of those contracts and let’s see whether it is indeed true that in the roads sector, pricing is done differently. Those are empirical mechanisms for establishing whether or not what he has said is true. If we are interested in the GFA angle, let us also be interested in the government angle.
He added that if the comments are not investigated and the government cleared of any wrongdoing, foreign contractors may be deterred from bidding for projects in the country.
“There are institutions for those issues. They should investigate it… The basic thing that you do is to carry out some basic investigation. There are contractors at the international level who have been tendering to perform local contracts. We need to allay their fears that when they are tendering in Ghana, they are given a fair opportunity to win those bids. We need to establish that. We are dealing with international perception of the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kwesi Nyantakyi has resigned as the president of the Ghana Football Association while the FA has also announced that all local games have been temporarily suspended.