Investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas refused to show his face to former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwasi Nyantakyi in a criminal case against Nyantakyi before the Accra High Court.
Lawyers for the accused, who is standing trial together with Abdulai Alhassan, the former GFA Northern Region representative for alleged corruption, obtained an order of the court presided over by Justice Louise Simmons for Anas to unmask in the judge’s chamber before he (Anas) mounted the witness box to testify.
But in a statement released by the Tiger Eye PI team in Accra, Anas stated that his safety and security would be compromised if he unmasks before the accused.
The statement recounted the gruesome murder of Ahmed Shaibu Suale, a star witness in the ongoing trial whose murder occurred after an engagement with the former Attorney-General’s office as one of the reasons Anas rejected the order to unmask.
“It should be recalled that the late Ahmed Hussein Suale, a star witness in this case, was assassinated in broad daylight in 2019. His assassination occurred on the same day that he had had engagements with the Attorney-General’s office on his testimony against the accused person in above styled case.”
“As much as Anas is willing and ready to testify for the prosecution, doing so under the condition specified by the court, presents a clear and present danger to his security and safety.“Under these circumstances, prudence requires that he declines the invitation to endanger his life and accordingly declines the invitation to reveal his identity to the accused person in the judges’ chamber or any other place.”
The statement said Anas had earlier agreed to testify as a witness for the prosecution in the above styled case after Ahmed Hussein Suale was gruesomely murdered, on condition that his identity is protected.
It said Anas’s request for the protection of his identity stems from his role as an undercover agent and the real and elevated risk that revealing his identity to the accused person will severely compromise his physical security and personal safety.
The statement said that prior to the late Suale’s murder, Mr Suale had been threatened with death by Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi and had been the subject of callous media attacks for his role as a star witness in the case, culminating in the revealing of his identity on national television and social media by Mr Kennedy Agyapong, the MP for Assin-Central Constituency.
“Under these circumstances, prudence requires that he declines the invitation to endanger his life and accordingly declines the invitation to reveal his identity to the accused person in the judges’ chamber or any other place.
Tiger Eye endorses the position of Anas and states that it is proper and wise to err on the side of caution to avoid any potential attack on another of its investigators.”
The statement continued that: “Tiger Eye’s position is further buttressed by the unrelenting, coordinated, and well-financed media and other campaigns by private and state actors to undermine its operations and the Anas principle, which stand in their way of amassing corruption and social injustice.”
It said nevertheless, Tiger Eye shall remain unwavering and relentless in its fight against corruption and societal ills, adding that Anas remains in high spirit and is grateful to the good people of Ghana for their support and protection.
In 2019, Tiger Eye Pi and Anas premiered a video in which Mr Nyantakyi was seen allegedly promising an Emirati businessman juicy contracts in Ghana, and allegedly demanded millions of Ghana cedis to be used to influence President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and other government appointees.
Following the exposè titled Number 12, Mr Nyantakyi resigned and the governing board of the Association was subsequently dissolved.
The accused pleaded not guilty and was granted GH¢1 million bail with sureties.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA