After premiering “Number 12”, what next?

Yesterday, contents of the much awaited secrete tape, “Number 12” produced by Tiger Eye PI and undercover reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas were made public, when it premiered at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Prior to that, strenuous efforts had been made by certain people believed to be directly or indirectly affected by the contents to discredit and or stop the expose’, with a mighty media campaign of their own, leaving consumers of the Ghanaian news media in the last few days confused about the propriety of the method used by Tiger Eye, Anas and their collaborator; the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

 

Private Detective of Journalist:

In the main, ethical issues have come up strongly about the under-cover methods used by Anas in getting evidence to pin down and nail suspected corrupt official in Ghanaian football and political circles. In my view, the confusion seemed to have come from the description of Anas as an Investigative Journalist instead of a Private Detective.

A little due diligence on Tiger Eye PI, which is in fact a private investigation agency, would have helped to dispel the issues of ethics in journalism so raised. The defence of public interest in the use of subterfuge by journalists does not even apply, as Tiger Eye, operates as a private investigation agency.

Some of the clients listed on their official website include – Government of Ghana, MTN Ghana, Interpol, Anglogold Ashanti,

Newmont Ghana, Group 4 Securicor Limited, Panos West Africa and Legal Resource Centre – Ghana.

 

Police and ethics:

Following the publication of Kwesi Nyantakyi, the star suspect’s  statement to the police in the media, ahead of the premiering; some sections of society mainly in the opposition NDC have questioned the propriety of Joy FM, an Accra based radio station, in publishing the exact statement, believed to have been leaked by some people within the police service.

To the extent that the police hierarchy would accept this criticism in good faith and take steps to prevent the leakage of such classified documents in their custody, I will consider it a minor issue and rather focus on the big issues.

 

Major issues:

First major issue of concern is that, campaign financing and the cost of elections in Ghana remain the remote cause of many evils in our society, including corruption. In the portion of “Number 12” where the “investors” (under-cover agents) said they had contributed $8 million in bribe monies to the previous administration for the 2016 election campaign, the suspect Kwesi Nyantakyi, in response, reveals exactly how and why cost of elections is the remote cause of corruption.

He said “You wanted to know how I will receive the money and transmit to the President. I have a Microfinance company. So you can move the entire $12m through it. Like I indicated I will share the money by giving $5m to the President, $3m to the Vice President. The Highways Minister will get $2m. My boy, Anthony Karbo will take $1m.Myself and Abu, will share the $1m. I will settle Asseso Boakye. I will arrange a private meeting between you and the President.

 

Look, the President sold a lot of properties before winning the election. He needs money. All his brothers are complaining that they don’t have money. The $5m will greatly help the President. Assenso Boakye tells me the President is in Qatar, I will speak to him if we can meet him there.”

 

If “the President sold a lot of properties before winning the election” and the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Kwesi Nyantakyi, thinks the President needs money to restore the properties he sold, then I must conclude that the President’s fight against corruption is a hoax or a big joke as he himself is neck deep in it.

 

New political elite:

Second, is the mind-set of the new political elite. If the fundamental political principle of the political elite in Ghana, is to win elections to capture political power by hook or crook (steal, kill, borrow, sell properties) to raise funds and use the power to steal the nation’s wealth to pay back, then no amount of “Believe in Ghana” would lead to transformational development. In fact it is the surest way to “state failure” with all its negative implications.

As a parliamentary candidate in three parliamentary elections, I am convinced beyond measure that, the motivation of many of the political elite to go to parliament is to qualify them for appointment as ministers of state and not necessarily to make good laws and check the excesses of the executive arm of government as a representative of the people

In the two dominant parties (NDC and NPP) parliamentary candidates who do not win, are made Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive (MMDCEs) or heads of state enterprises and agencies; to enable them to reclaim their election expenditures through corrupt practices, at the expense of the nation’s development.

 

Successful prosecution:

My third and final major issue is the guarantee that all the actors found to be corrupt in the tape would be prosecuted successfully. If this is done, it would motivate Anas, Tiger Eye and their collaborators to do more detective work, particularly for the state institutions with anti-corruption mandates.

It would also begin the process of reversing the dangerous mind-set of the political elite that public service is the place to make personal wealth through stealing. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the Special Prosecutor must be up and doing with their briefs and water tight cases to get each and every one found culpable to face the music to serve as a real deterrent to others.

 

The Last Uprising
…with William DOWOKPOR (billdowokpor@gmail.com)

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