It’s time to subject Anas’ methodology to legal test – Afenyo-Markin
The Parliamentarian for Effutu constituency has said it is time the methodology of undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, is subjected to a legal test.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin believes this will clear the air regarding the much-criticized methodology Anas employs in his journalistic practice.
Arguing his case of invasion of privacy by the journalist, he told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy FM/MultiTV’s Newsfile programme on Saturday that there is a breach of privacy in how Anas does his work.
“You don’t lead somebody on into something and turn around and pronounce the person ‘guilty’…where you first show it [evidence] to the public and let radio stations play the audio, what are you doing?” he quizzed.
According to him, it is unfair to whoever the victim is adding “we should not celebrate that leg of the methodology by Anas.
The methodology employed by the ace journalist has come under heavy criticisms following his latest documentary, Number 12, which has so far implicated President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
Following the private viewing of excerpts of the video by the President Akufo-Addo and some top officials of the Presidency, it emerged that Mr Nyantakyi was allegedly negotiating for an amount of money using the name of the President and his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The President then called on the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to arrest Mr Nyantakyi for allegedly defrauding by false pretence.
Mr Nyantakyi who was by then in Morroco turned himself in to the police and was granted bail later.
Shortly after the news hit the headlines, Assin Central legislator, Kennedy Agyapong, begun a crusade to question the work of Anas.
"…what I know is [he] setting Mr Nyantakyi [up]…they went to Morocco and according to sources and spent about $400,000 which Mr Nyantakyi got $65,000 - all in an attempt to sabotage him," he alleged.
He is one of the many people who has called for the journalist to be prevented by a court from premiering his latest work focusing on football and politics.
Mr. Agyapong is worried if Anas is not stopped, he may end up invading the privacy of people and filming them in their bedrooms.
Adding his voice to calls for Anas to go by the tenets of journalism ethics Mr Afenyo Markin said setting people up is not the way to go in journalism.
But Tamale Central MP, Inusah Fuseini, disagreed saying what Anas is doing is in the public interest and urged people who “feel hard done by to proceed to court like the judges did.”
“Anas doesn’t just go and put cameras up to entrap people…there must be a prima facie case of some wrongdoing…he would have identified the actors but the nature of the corruption is that it is highly unlikely that they will carry out those acts in the sunlight.
“So, you will need something to shine the light on them to expose it,” he said.
Also defending his protege, the editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako said, he finds no fault with people questioning Anas’ methodology.
“It is not exclusive to Ghana…indeed that debate is as old as undercover journalism so it is healthy especially those who come on board with an intellectual legal point of view,” he said.
He believes accepting and interrogating such arguments goes a long way to improve the governance system and legal framework.
However, Mr Baako said he has a problem with those “who seek to criminalise and bastardise the methods as well as the person engaged in that exercise.”
He said a legal test of Anas’ methodology would mean going to a higher court because “some of the lower courts are currently using his [Anas] evidence as admissible and people are in prison.”
According to him, the cases of subterfuge used by the investigative journalism is accepted by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) code of ethics and National Media Commission (NMC) guidelines.