Mrs Christine-Marie Nyantakyi, wife of the former president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi, has said that ahead of the screening of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Number 12 documentary, which exposed her husband as a bribe-taker, blackmailers had demanded they pay $150,000 as bribe to kill the story.
She said they could only garner $100,000, which was paid to the blackmailers, who later insisted that until the balance of $50,000 was added, they would not kill the story.
Mrs Nyantakyi told Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme on Tuesday, 6 November that: “… Apparently, we became so desperate when we realised that all that they presented to us were false, so, we tried to make some interventions, and they proposed that he pays some money. They proposed $150,000; my husband couldn’t afford it, so, he gave out $100,000 dollars, and they came back to him and said the person says you need to add $50,000, and he said: ‘Well, I don’t have it’; that’s all that I have’.”
She said the blackmailers later returned the money in instalments after teh screening took place.
“They brought $40,000 first; and then later on, they brought $60,000 dollars. I have not gathered the courage to watch the full video, because the small that I watched, I knew that the way he is talking; that is not my husband; something might have gone wrong.”
Asked by Paul why she thought her husband fell for the bait, she said; “I don’t know what they did to him. My husband is a very skeptical person; I don’t know what they did to him to follow them like that. You don’t just get him to follow you like that.”
Mrs Nyantakyi even suggested her husband could have been put under a spell.
“He told me this long before the video came out. He said it was for reimbursement of his ticket, because that was the agreement they had. So he accepted the money with the belief that it was a refund for his trip as agreed.”
“His worry and the bother is what the motive was; so, he tried to find out from people: ‘Why did they do that?’ The motive for somebody planning, plotting, strategising and executing this just to make sure he’s disgraced. So that has been his pain and worry; he doesn’t mind at all whatever has happened; he has taken that in good faith, but each day he keeps asking what have I done wrong? If they wanted me out they could have found another way; but that scheming to that extent”.
“Paul, I mean we are all human beings … The conversations that we have every day amongst us as friends, as associates and business partners, if those conversations are taken out, all of us will be in trouble. The sociologists will tell you that human beings are complex beings; as soon as a light is thrown on you, your behaviour, your demeanour, your gestures change; so, you talk to somebody knowing that there’s no one else watching you, there are no cameras, and then all of a sudden everything is in the open. If he had known, I am sure that things that he said or did, he wouldn’t have done them. So that’s the pain that he has … That you come to me, deceive me and then I follow you for you to do this to me. He’s okay with it; he has learnt a lot of lessons even though very bitterly” she said, adding that: “It’s been tough for us, but we’ve been able to hold on by the grace of God”.
Based on the documentary, FIFA has imposed a life ban on Mr Nyantakyi in relation to all football activities and also fined him SFr500,000 (GHS2.4 million, $497,490).
Ahead of the screening, Mr Nyantakyi had alleged he was blackmailed into paying some money so the story could be spiked.