So I’ve been thinking…
Anas’ 2IC (well not exactly his second-in-command, but you get the point) was gruesomely murdered and one of the first things Anas does in an attempt to express his grief and devastation was to make a professional video and post same on Social media, few hours after the ghastly attack? I mean if my 2IC, not that I have a 2IC, but supposing I did have a 2IC who was in fact shot and killed in the manner that Ahmed Hussein Suale was, I honestly do not think my immediate inclination or concern will be about making a video with the intention to insinuate the guilt or otherwise of anybody, no matter what they may have said or done in the past, without allowing the law to first make that determination.
If I did manage to compose myself well enough to make a video at all, within what will no doubt have been a very tough and trying moment, I would have restricted it to the expression of my grief and condolence, and if I had any material of evidential value, it would surely have made its way to the appropriate State institution or law enforcement agency, and would certainly not have featured in the video. But then again, grief can elicit the strangest of behaviours from the noblest of us. So, I will cut Anas some slack.
Still, let me dwell on the subject of the said video a little while longer. The video basically depicts Hon. Kennedy Agyapong ‘blowing’ the cover of the deceased on Net 2 TV by directing for his (deceased’s) pictures to be made public, and while at it, giving instructions to the entirety of the nation (it would seem) for same to be beaten up if ever sighted anywhere near the premises of the aforementioned TV station. The other part of the video announces the death of the deceased, and Tiger Eye PI’s unwavering commitment to pursue journalism in spite of the assassination.
This video is not what you’ll term an ‘amateur’ video, in that it had a professional touch to it and whoever put it together must have spent some good amount of time on it. Or at least, should have. Case in point: The original footage or recording did not have any subtitles as it was during a live programme on the said TV station.
However, the version which appeared on Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ twitter handle, few hours after the grim assassination, had English subtitles that sought to explain the audio component of the video which was predominantly in Twi. Here’s my question. If the attack happened Wednesday night, and the video appeared on Anas’ twitter handle Thursday dawn, 3:45 am to be exact, what time was the video, special effects and all, put together and made ready for Social media? Is it possible it had been prepared a good while ago?? Ahead of the assassination, perhaps? Why was it published at all?
On face value, it appears the video was merely attempting to connect the ‘Hitman-style’ assassination to the unsavoury pronouncements of the Member of Parliament for Assin Central some months prior. But a slight application of rigour and scrutiny reveals otherwise, at least to me.
But before I go any further, let’s look at Anas for a moment, shall we? And it is my hope that I may by this succeed in saying why I feel a whole lot of unease about his decision to air the video and make it look as though the rather unfortunate comments of the said MP have somewhat to do with the grisly killing.
Here’s no mean a journalist! He is, by far, one of the finest in the nation and on the continent. And I’m told he’s a lawyer as well. It is trite to point out that the kind of work he does; investigative journalism which seeks to uncover corruption in its darkest crevices, while perilous and detrimental to his personal safety, is of crucial relevance to organising a society where, in his own words, corruption would be a “high-risk” venture, and accorded the disdain and contempt it deserves. His international acclaim and immense contribution to causes that bode well for humanity are all too glaring to miss.
I am deeply concerned, therefore, at the alacrity with which a journalist of this sort resorts to social media in circulating material that has the tendency to affect or perhaps mislead public and or judicial opinion on a matter as serious as the heinous assassination of a close colleague.
Surely a lawyer, if not a journalist, ought to know better! It would seem that there is a calculated and frantic attempt to lead the social convoy of anger and invectives one way, maybe on a futile expedition, while affording the ‘real’ perpetrators the time and opportunity to elude capture, on the blind side of us all. Otherwise, I am still unsure as to the real need for such a video, given the brevity of the time it seems to have been so professionally put together.
This is why I believe we must not be quick, this time around, to dismiss the likelihood of a potential fall-out or disaffection between the deceased and his boss, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, prior to the assassination. For if there is even the slightest probability of a fall-out, then in my view Anas, not Kennedy Agyapong, looks more of a suspect.
At any rate, who has more to lose in the scenario of a rogue Tiger Eye PI employee? Anas or Kennedy Agyapong? Your guess. If the theory of a possible fall-out is tenable, then the ‘hasty’ video by Anas could as well be a small part of an elaborate attempt to frame up the wrong person(s) and prosecute same in a vicious court of public opinion.
Let us not forget that Anas, while noble and good, is also human and has in recent times found himself in the thick of controversy and accusations that have come in from left, right and centre, albeit the bulk of those have emanated from no other than Hon. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.
From what I have gleaned from the savage vendetta that ensued in the days leading to the screening of “#12”, Kennedy Agyapong purports to have some insight into the ‘dark side’ of Anas; the side he opines, is often veiled from rigour and scrutiny largely due to the Ghanaian resort to blind loyalty and its fatal consequence of wrongly diagnosing any hint of dissent as a manifestation of ‘Pull-Him-Down’ (PhD) syndrome.
It was around this time that certain shocking and sometimes nebulous allegations about Anas began to trickle in, yet we saw the sheer reluctance of state institutions to, at least, explore these rumours. Perhaps such allegations were bereft of any substance, whatsoever. Hmmm. Many Ghanaians were unwilling to even entertain, for a second, the thought of their ‘hero’, Anas, having to engage in anything untoward in the conduct of his work. The mere prospect of a dishonest Anas was too much to assimilate, and its cascading potential was equally horrifying so naturally, it was both easy and convenient to see a loquacious MP as the problem.
When Hon. Kennedy Agyapong circulated certain photographs in a relentless bid to ‘unmask’ Anas and his team, public opinion was rife and sharply divided as to the authenticity of those photographs. In fact, Anas and his team mounted a fierce campaign and debunked all those photographs as fake. They swore those were not photographs of any of their team members. This was expected, and it was the best defence anyway.
However, it is interesting that in the case of Ahmed (may he rest in peace) for example, the very photograph which was vehemently debunked as fake is the same that surfaced on Anas’ twitter handle as well as mainstream media, and seems to be the only in circulation too- except this time we don’t get the impression it’s fake. My question is, if Hon. Kennedy Agyapong nailed it with this photograph, what else did he get right about Anas?
Could it be that some of those seemingly spurious claims he made against Anas and the subsequent revelations in “who watches the watchman” are actually worthy of our attention and scrutiny? If so, why is nobody listening to him? Why does it seem we have a default readiness to believe Anas and disbelieve Kennedy Agyapong? It may be difficult for Ghanaians to entertain the prospect of an unscrupulous Anas, given his pedigree, but if there is legitimate reason to subject him to a proper legal litmus test, way to go! That is the only way to preserve the sanctity of his work and consolidate his gains.
In our attempt to protect him, we should not make the error of breeding a social monster who is at once unruly and immune to the laws of the Republic. Yet I suspect that we may have nearly completed our transformation into a society largely given to the bandwagon technique, and a country of blind loyalists who hate rigour and scrutiny, and suppose that anyone with a divergent thought is an enemy!
On the Menzgold saga, for example, many were those who accused state institutions of attempting to collapse a legitimate business that was Ghanaian, through and through. Scores of Menzgold customers defended NAM 1 and his company to the hilt! Today, the same ‘loyalists’, aggrieved, are making hefty demands of government to embark on a near-impossible voyage of retrieving their investments from an elusive businessman.
The Honorable Kennedy Agyapong may have behaved dishonourably in publishing photographs and sensitive information about journalists who were supposed to be undercover in the first place, but this unfortunate act is the more reason for greater circumspection lest we are hoodwinked and made to join the wrong convoy.
In a matter as chilling as the brutal murder of an undercover journalist, it is a possibility that the culprits are from within, and have counted on the already volatile social and media landscape as a result of the infamous calls by Hon. Kennedy Agayapon, to divert attention. By ‘within’ I mean the rank and file of the Tiger Eye PI setup.
I mean it is possible, isn’t it? If a fall-out theory is anything to go by. After all an ant is best positioned to attack when it’s already in a person’s cloth. And the problem with undercover activity, in my opinion, is that, often, too many details remain ‘undercover’ and never see the light of day. In the words of Ariel Durant, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within”. Perhaps Tiger Eye has destroyed itself from “within”.
While my respect and admiration for Anas and his work remain intact, I am careful not to carry an exaggerated view of Anas. If there are good reasons to suspend our collective love for him and subject him to critical thought, we must, by all means, embrace them.
It would be refreshing to have an Anas who has been ‘purged’ of these many allegations such as those that were in vogue in the build-up to “#12”. For it appears that as of now, his seeming immaculate reputation has lost some of its original lustre following the outbreak of these many unsubstantiated claims, and it is imperative to restore him to his former glory.
The Hon. Kennedy Agyapong’s comments, in his desperation to unearth the identity of Anas and his team, were, and still are, unfortunate and far below the acceptable threshold. No one can mount any defence of any sort in the face of such inflammatory words. But Anas’ video with its sinister smoking gun is no better. So let us not be hasty to pursue the logic that Ahmed Hussein Suale is dead because his cover was blown some eight or so months ago. It could well be that Ahmed is dead due to entirely remote reasons. Wherever the truth is, I pray that law enforcement and the courts decide soon. The investigations must be thorough and indiscriminate. A fine chap is gone, and his killers are at large. Let us collectively make them accountable.
Were I the Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, I would bridle my tongue in future utterances and remember that the things I say may someday come back to haunt me. Likewise, if I were a journalist like Anas, I would not make overt insinuations on social media in matters of such magnitude. But then, I am neither Hon. Kennedy ‘Akompreko’ Agyapong, nor Anas Aremeyaw Anas. Think of me as a conspiracy theory enthusiast.
“Until the rotten tooth is pulled out, the mouth must chew with caution!”