Editor in-chief of The New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr., has cleared the air on why President Nana Akufo-Addo was given the opportunity to watch investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ latest expose before it is premiered on June 6, 2018.
According to him, arrangements were made with the Jubilee House for the president, whose name was mentioned in portions of the video, to watch it and his reactions recorded and added to the investigative piece.
President Akufo-Addo last Tuesday had the opportunity to watch portions of the video in which the president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi, allegedly used his (president) and the vice president’s names to induce a supposed investor – who turned out to be Anas.
When the news broke the second deputy speaker of parliament, Alban Bagbin, criticised Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team for showing their latest investigative piece to President Akufo-Addo before the public screening scheduled for the Accra International Conference Centre.
According to him, showing the yet-to-be screened video to the president preempted the public viewing, considering the public discourse it has generated.
He said the public should have been allowed to watch the full documentary and where necessary, “aspects will have to refer to some institutions to unearth some evidence which may lead to some criminal suspicion before we could talk about orders.”
Mr Bagbin raised concerns which suggested whether those who had been given the opportunity to watch some aspects of the piece would not mount pressure on Anas and his Tiger Eye PI to edit “unpleasant” portions before its public screening.
“We should have allowed the documentary to be aired on 6th for all of us to see and then the decisions will be taken. Maybe some aspects will have to refer to some institutions to unearth some evidence which may lead to some criminal suspicion before we could talk about orders.
“An order coming from the president has too much weight to it and raises a lot of political issues. If others are given the opportunity to view the documentary, and they see some aspects that are unpleasant, will they prevail on Tiger Eye to cut away some portions?” Mr Bagbin queried.
However, Mr Kweku Baako explained that since the names of the president and his vice were mentioned in the documentary, it was only ethical that they were given the chance to respond before the final work is put out in the public domain.
Mr Baako claimed, “This is incredible, absolutely incredible! If he were to be in that situation, would he be happy if this was to be put out there without his response, without his views unsolicited, would he be happy?”
Mr Baako pointed out that the GFA boss, who was invited by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and has since been granted bail, had made claims in the video which bothered on the integrity of the president and the presidency, hence the need to give him the chance to react to the allegations made against him.
Speaking on Oman FM’s ‘Boiling Point’ programme Thursday evening, Mr Baako said, “A whole president’s name has been mentioned. You have to give him the chance to react.
“You have to show it with a balance. You are talking about the integrity of the president.”
Mr Baako had earlier indicated that some government officials, such as the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Anthony Abayifa Karbo and others whose names have been mentioned in the video would be given the opportunity to clarify the allegations made against them.
A Deputy Chief of Staff, Abu Jinapor, at a press conference at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, confirmed that Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi was captured in the video trying to use the names of the president, the vice president and some key government officials to secure investments fraudulently.
Mr. Nyantakyi is on police enquiry bail after the CID had picked him up from the Kotoka International Airport for investigation upon his arrival from Morocco on Wednesday.