The premiering of Anas’s Number 12 undercover investigative video, dubbed: “When misconduct and greed become the norm”, at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) Wednesday lived up to its billing as an explosive piece.
Easily a blockbuster of which Hollywood would be envious, the video attracted hundreds of patrons who cheered, booed, laughed and screamed at the scenes.
The screening of the video had to be paused several times to cool the “tempers” of viewers who were visibly shocked at the ease with which Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s investigative team bribed referees, match commissioners, officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the National Sports Authority (NSA) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports with sums as low as GH¢300 to influence the showing of yellow and red cards, the award of penalties and engagement in visa deals.
The money paid to the officials ranged between GH¢300 and GH¢5,000.
Other forms of inducement to referees, match commissioners and officials included goats, sheep, cooking oil and rice.
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The President of the GFA, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, was paid the highest amount of $65,000 for assuring investors, who later turned out to be Anas’s team members, of his readiness to get them good sponsorship deals and juicy contracts in the government.
Majority of the recipients of the bribes showed signs of excitement.
One particular referee prayed for the Anas team and blessed them several times.
Two match officials, male and female, took their bribes while lying in bed.
From around 2 p.m. yesterday when the doors to the auditorium of the AICC were opened, patrons trooped in till the main gallery, which had been beefed up with plastic chairs, as well as the balcony, filled up to overflowing.
There was anxiety when the clock was ticking towards 3 p.m., which had been scheduled for the first show.
Not only were the stage and the balcony draped in the national colours of red, yellow and green; the screening began with the playing of the National Anthem, after which the patrons, who were up standing, cheered as if they were cheering the national team at the sports stadium.
When the screening of the video got underway, patrons could not hide their excitement, as they expressed shock at what they saw.
The shock, which brought out ‘oohs’, ‘aahs’, a few cheers and other expressions of bewilderment, continued till the end of the two-hour video.
Patrons were especially astonished that women referees, just like their male counterparts, were also involved in taking bribes to influence matches.
They were also astonished to find certain very influential names in Ghana’s sporting circles taking bribes, either to influence matches or player or referee selections.
Perhaps what completely shocked and disappointed viewers of the video was the citing of the GFA Communications Director, Mr Ibrahim Sani Daara, as someone who, although had declined to take any inducement to influence the call up of a player to the local Black Stars team, asked that GH¢4,000 be given to an acquaintance so that he put in a word for a player to be selected.
Although the undercover investigations were on sports administration in the country, most of the alleged corruption in the video concerned football, with the part played by the GFA boss of three terms, Mr Nyantakyi, being the climax.
If the mere mention of his name set the auditorium alight, then the comments he made, oblivious of the fact that he was being recorded secretly, made the viewers ecstatic and incensed.
The room erupted with loud cheers when Mr Nyantakyi urged the “investors” to find money to settle the firebrand politician, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, whom he (Mr Nyantakyi) described as very “loud”.
According to Mr Nyantakyi, settling Mr Agyapong would make the investors have absolute control of most contracts without any distractions from Mr Agyapong, who took on his own party very often.
Mr Nyantakyi also told the investors that the Ministry of Transport was allegedly created for Mr Agyapong, who had earlier declined to take up a ministerial appointment on the grounds that he (Mr Agyapong) was indisciplined.
The Chairman for the premiering, Reverend Father Andrew Campbell, in his remarks, said “the video should bring us together as men of integrity for Ghana”, adding: “Corruption serves as a disincentive to everyone wanting to invest in Ghana.”
He said the video showed that society was corrupt to the core and that “we are not teaching our children moral values”.
“When parents buy exam papers for children to pass, it is the beginning of corruption in the home. Sadly, we are telling our children that it doesn’t matter who you are but what you have. Honesty is the best policy,” he said.
Quoting Matthew 16:26: ‘For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul’, Father Campbell underscored the need for people to work and receive what they had worked for.
“We must say no to corruption. Ghana must work again,” he added.
Stalwarts such as the Founder of the All People's Congress (APC), Mr Hassan Ayariga; the National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Kofi Adams; the Chairman of the People's National Convention (PNC), Mr Bernard Mornah, and the Founder and Leader of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Madam Akua Donkor, were at the premiering.
Also spotted in the VIP seats were dignitaries, including a former Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong; the MP for Ablekuma South, Mr Alfred Oko Vanderpuye; a former MP for Ellembele, Ms Samia Nkrumah; a former Chairman of the National Media Commission, Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere; the Dean of the School of Communications, Legon, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, and the Parish Priest of the Christ the King Catholic Church.