The BBC has described as “untrue” reports circulating on social media that it has distanced itself from ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
According to the BBC, it is working on a new project with the award-winning journalist.
The clarification comes after it emerged that the BBC did not collaborate with Anas on his Number 12 documentary which revealed graft in Ghana football and Africa at large as Ghanaians were made to believe by Mr Kweku Baako, Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper.
Critics of Anas have interpreted the BBC’s denial of collaborating with the undercover journalist as distancing themselves from him.
But the BBC in a statement posted on Facebook said: “Please note that reports circulating in the media that BBC Africa Eye is distancing itself from Anas Aremeyaw Anas are completely untrue. In fact, we are currently working with Anas on a new project. When we produced our exclusive Africa Eye film, Betraying the Game, we made it perfectly clear from the outset that this was a documentary about his investigation. Anas has himself confirmed this and agreed that our documentary would include questions about his methods as well as his extraordinary revelations, which were clearly overwhelmingly in the public interest to report.”
Meanwhile, Mr Baako has apologised on radio for indicating that the BBC collaborated with Anas and his Tiger Eye PI company, to produce the documentary.
Mr Baako had said on Accra-based Peace FM on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 that: “This project, again, is not exclusively Tiger Eye PI project, it is a joint Tiger Eye-BBC project.”
In a statement sent to the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, the BBC said: “Contrary to any reports or rumours you may have heard or seen prior to publication, stating ‘Number 12’ was a product of a collaborative work by the BBC and the journalist (Anas Aremeyaw Anas), this was not the case.
“The BBC documentary, ‘Betraying the Game”, broadcast after “Number 12”, which was first put into the public domain, was an independent and impartial work and a report about Mr. Anas’ investigation. The BBC played no part whatsoever in his investigation and has never sought to suggest otherwise. Mr Anas is not a BBC journalist, we did not work with him during his investigation or commission him to carry out this investigation.”
Commenting on this development on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo on Wednesday, 18 July, Mr Baako said: “I had said so publicly that it was a joint project … and, indeed, why I said so was because the three people who were dealing with Anas, who I’ve known for the last 30 years, were BBC people. Apparently, they have left the BBC but are part of the technical team.
“They came to me and I dealt with them on so many things…so there was a level of arrangement and collaboration between them but I had gone to the extent of saying it was a joint collaboration. So, I was wrong,” he said.