GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi 'in hot water'

BY: Kwame Asare Boadu & Mabel Aku Baneseh
GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi
GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi

The police have mounted a manhunt for the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, in a case that is likely to shake the foundations of Ghana football.

It follows a report by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the police over the conduct of 49-year-old Nyantakyi after the President had watched portions of the latest exposé by the investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, titled: “Number 12: When misconduct and greed become the worm”.

Presidency

A Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, yesterday told the presidential press corps that President Akufo-Addo wanted Nyantakyi investigated for alleged criminal use of his name and the names of other senior members of government for inducement.

“The President of the Republic has had the privilege of viewing aspects of this investigative piece and in this documentary, the President of the Ghana Football Association, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, is supposedly seen attempting to use the President’s name and that of the Vice President and other senior officials of government to induce supposed potential investors into our country to part with various sums of monies.

“The President as a responsible citizen and indeed and in fact and particularly as the chief custodian of our laws and enforcer of our laws, has had to consult and evaluate the contents of this investigative piece. The President after these consultations is fully satisfied that a prima facie basis has been established for criminal investigations to be launched into the conduct of the president of the Ghana Football Association,” Mr Jinapor said.

He said the President had also directed that any other official sighted, mentioned or connected to alleged corrupt deals in the video should be investigated.


He further noted that the President was “absolutely determined to ensure that anybody who is found culpable in this investigation will be made to face the full rigours of the laws of our country.”

The video

The video, which is said to expose greed and corruption in Ghana football, will be premiered in Accra on June 6, 2018.

“It is true, we are looking for him {Kwesi Nyantakyi} based on information that he tried to use the name of the President to extort money from some individuals,” the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mrs Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, told the Daily Graphic on Tuesday.

Mr Nyantakyi, the longest-serving FA chairman in the country, has been at the helm of football administration in Ghana for 13 years.

He is also the First Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Executive member of FIFA.

The report of the conduct of Mr Nyantakyi came when he was out of the country on an international assignment.

But the CID boss had a piece of advice for him: “If he is hearing me, he should report himself to the CID Headquarters or the nearest police station.”

Tongues wagging

Tongues have been wagging since reports emerged that Anas was about to release a video that will expose massive corruption in Ghana football.

Snippets of information on the video have since been bandied about in both the traditional and social media, with fingers pointing at some officials within the GFA.

But some close associates of the GFA boss have come out strongly to rubbish the Anas video, saying it is much ado about nothing.

Contact failed

According to Mrs Addo-Danquah, her outfit tried to contact My Nyantakyi when the directive came but realised he had been out of the country since May 17.

She said the police had not settled on any preliminary charge against the FA capo.

“We will look at the elements of the case first before preferring any charge; once we charge him, it means we are ready to go to court,” she said.

The CID boss stated that she had not watched the video herself but declared that there were so many ways of gathering evidence.

World football

The Nyantakyi case comes at a time when global attention is on corruption in football.

In 2015, the world governing body of football came into sharp focus for all the wrong reasons when the Swiss authorities arrested a number of FIFA officials on corruption charges on the eve of the FIFA congress in Zurich.

Criminal charges were subsequently preferred against the officials over the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup venues.

It is not known when the GFA boss will return home to face arrest, investigations and possible prosecution.

Graphic print media partner

Globe Productions has made the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) its media partner for the showing of the Anas exposé across the country, starting from Accra on June 6.

Consequently, some tickets have been made available to the GCGL for its readers across the country.

The public should, therefore, keep reading the Daily Graphic for an opportunity to win tickets to watch Anas’s latest investigative piece.

About Nyantakyi

Mr Nyantakyi, who is a lawyer by profession, became the President of the GFA on December 30, 2005 after he defeated two candidates, Mr Ade Coker and Mr Kojo Bonsu.

While some see him as the most successful FA chairman, others describe him as a monumental failure, especially the way Ghana football has taken a nosedive under his watch, although huge sums of money have gone into the management of football over the years.

In 2011, Mr Nyantakyi became the Interim President of the West African Football Association (WAFU).

He stood unopposed in the FA’s November 2013 elections and was reelected for another two-year term as President.

He is currently eyeing a third term in office in the 2019 FA elections.