Ghanaian reporter dismisses football graft expose threats

The Ghana Association of Journalists (GAJ) said in a statement that speculation about the journalist's identity put his life and that of others at risk.

President Nana Akufo-Addo last month complained to police that the head of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, had “used the president's name and office fraudulently”.   -  AP

A Ghanaian investigative journalist on Tuesday vowed to carry on undercover work despite receiving death threats in relation to an upcoming expose on alleged corruption in football.

“I am not scared and I will not be intimidated. I'm keeping my focus and will not be distracted,” Anas Aremeyaw Anas told AFP, stating that his work was “in the interest of the nation”.

Anas, who has previously exposed graft in the judiciary and keeps his identity a closely guarded secret, has said his next documentary, to be released on Wednesday, involved football.

President Nana Akufo-Addo last month complained to police that the head of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, had “used the president's name and office fraudulently”.

Nyantakyi was then questioned by police and released pending further investigation.

A member of parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, has since accused the journalist of being corrupt and insinuated he should be killed and his colleagues beaten up.

The majority leader in parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), distanced himself from the remarks.

“Kennedy is on his own in this fight against Anas,” he told Citi FM in Accra.

“(He) has been advised several times to desist from making unpalatable comments about Anas Aremeyaw Anas and rather prove with facts if he has anything against him.”

The Ghana Association of Journalists (GAJ) said in a statement that speculation about the journalist's identity put his life and that of others at risk.

Photographs have appeared online purporting to show the journalist's real identity. In response, his supporters posted pictures of themselves under the hashtag #IAmAnas.

Anas and his team had received threatening anonymous phone calls and been subject to physical surveillance, according to the New York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists.

“Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his team must be free to investigate and report on matters of public interest without fear of reprisal,” said CPJ Africa Programme coordinator Angela Quintal.

Reporters Without Borders ranks Ghana 23rd in its 2018 World Press Freedom Index. It has said it is “very much concerned” by the death threats.