ANAS strikes, the euphoria ignites and the public is highly expectant of what will surely become a thriller in a theatre.
Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s first and last names (Anas), have become antonymous with corruption. The name rings a bell that calls for public attention. What the public expects is always about corruption, but the sector and the people implicated in the investigative piece always set heads rolling.
It has been days since Kwesi Nyantakyi, the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), was invited by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to assist in investigation into the Anas exposé in which he was implicated. The action of the police came on the back of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s report of the GFA boss to the CID for “defrauding by false pretence” after watching excerpts of the Anas video that concerns him (the President).
Number 12, as the exposé is christened, has already spun many heads in football and politics. Many people involved in football administration have gone silent and some are suspected to have left the country for fear of being connected to the scandal. The public awaits a whodunit today, June 6. Alleged cases of corruption in Ghana football have long been suspected by some journalists, but now the burden of proof seems to have been instigated by the man with a tiger eye.
However, we all must caution against media trial, besides, journalism is not a prosecutorial profession. We will be better off leaving that to the learned people with wigs in order to avoid matters of contempt when the ‘legal acrobatics’ begin.
Since the announcement of Number 12, discussions have begun on various media platforms and so far, they have been interesting. Lawyers, politicians, football officials and journalists have been sharing their perspectives on the whole issue. What has now become principal in the debate is the modus operandi (method) of Anas. His style of tempting people with ‘dough’ and expecting you to accept or refuse has brought about divergent views.
There is the school of thought that postulates that Anas’s modus operandi is unethical and the other school of thought that believes we all must be principled enough not to indulge in the taking of bribes when offered. Critics of Anas’s approach of fact gathering believe he is blackmailing his victims for his self- interest.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, has heavily criticised Anas. According to Ghanaweb.com, on Tuesday, May 29 on Adom TV’s Badwam, the lawmaker described Anas’s as “a corrupt journalist who sets up people with the aim to destroy their reputation”. His revulsion in Anas’s method adds up to the many question marks against the journalist. Indeed, back in 2015, citizen vigilante and current Special Prosecutor Mr Martin Amidu described Tiger Eye PI (Anas’s investigative company) as “fraudulent”.
The school of thought on the other side of the coin debates about principle. If you are offered bribe, do not take. Simple! In the investigative piece on the Judiciary, some judges refused to accept money to influence a judegment and threatened to cause the arrest of the enticer.
This demonstrates that there are people who will not accept any form of inducement. Their personal principles and integrity are more important than money. Then this makes the case of people complaining of entrapment by Anas a bit flaccid.
Clearly, it becomes a matter of choice. It is either you choose to stand by good principles no matter the pressure or you do the opposite.
Qualms about his investigative method are surely not going to end anytime soon, but it must be admitted that the hallmark of the celebrated journalist is no mean feat. Many mysteries have been uncovered. He has gone to places many would not dare and has helped expose the illicit acts of some members of our society. Like a tiger, he positions himself to catch his unwary prey. His main aim is to shame and jail”.
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Code of Ethics Article 12 states: “A journalist shall obtain information, photographs and illustration only by straightforward means. The use of other means can be justified only by overriding considerations of the public interest. The journalist is entitled to exercise a personal conscientious objection to the use of such means.”
I do not subscribe to bribing or any form of inducement as an individual but as far as Article 12 of the Code of Ethics is concerned, is Anas’s modus operandi justifiable? Let’s continue the discussion!