Unsatisfied with the $1 million they were supposed to receive as their ‘payment’ in the attempted $12 million bribe scandal as captured in the latest expose by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Abu, a special aide to embattled Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, asked his boss to tell the supposed Tiger Eye PI’s “investors” to round up the money to $15 million.
In an apparent expectation of a windfall consumed by greed and avarice, Abu had said the $1 million to be shared with Nyantakyi was too small and requested additional $1 million and later said it should be rounded up to $15 million, with his boss, the GFA president, endorsing the $15 million cash.
The proposal was made when Nyantakyi and his ‘business friends’ were on their way to the airport to catch a flight.
When driving to the airport after fruitful deliberations on investment opportunities in the Ghana Premier League and some potential government contracts, precisely road contracts in the northern part of the country, Nyantakyi’s boy had made it clear that the amount the two of them were going to get from the entire arrangement was ‘small’ and thus he (Nyantakyi) should try to convince the investors to increase the amount, to which the beleaguered GFA president obliged, moving on to plead with the investors to raise the initial $12 million to $15 million so that they would be able to take care of other people.
Allegedly, the GFA boss was to use the $11 million to influence President Akufo-Addo with an amount of $5 million, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, with $3 million and one minister of state with $2 million, to have them award certain contracts to the “investors.”
The latest Anas expose titled, ‘Number 12’ which was premiered at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, affects the entire football industry in Ghana, from the Ministry of Sports, the GFA, the National Sports Authority (NSA), the domestic league, the women’s league, the Black Stars and Starlets, and the Referees’ Appointment Committee.
It shows match officials, executives of NSA, GFA and protocol officers of the Sports Ministry, and 15 referees. Notable among the referees are Samuel Suka, Robert Sarfo Mensah, suspended NSA boss, Eric Mohammed, Justice Opoku, Amofa Sarkodie. They were captured recklessly trading their conscience and integrity for various amounts of money, goats, sheep, cooking oil, bags of rice, among other items, with the pledge of manipulating games, facilitating travels for some unqualified individuals and placing some players, including Hearts of Oak captain, Thomas Abbey, onto the Black Stars team.
Mr. Nyantakyi described as the “Godfather” of the sophisticated network of bribe-taking sports personalities, was initially approached by the supposed investors for sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League but Mr. Nyantakyi eventually diverted to politics and other investment matters as he sought to convince the investors who turned out to be Tiger Eye PI agents, that he had what it takes to influence President Akufo-Addo, his Vice, and the business community in Ghana.
The investors, who unknown to Nyantakyi, were undercover journalists, promised a $15 million sponsorship deal for the league.
Even though Article 15 of the GFA code of Ethics titled Commission states: “Officials are forbidden from accepting commission or promises of such commission for negotiating deals of any kind while performing their duties unless the presiding body has expressly permitted them to do so. In the absence of such a presiding body, the body to which the official belongs shall decide,” Mr. Nyantakyi found a clever way to sidestep integrity and standards by suggesting to establish a firm that will serve as the broker of the deal and part away with a commission between 20 and 25 per cent.
Thousands of Ghanaians thronged the AICC on Wednesday and Thursday to view the one hour thirty minutes documentary, and were utterly shocked to see how people appointed to serve the state and soccer fans betrayed the beautiful game for various amounts of money and items, including $60,000 initially given to Nyantakyi by the ‘investors’ for the premier league sponsorship deal.
They could be heard screaming and chanting “Nyantakyi oo Nyantakyi” as the documentary was screened and the corrupt officials shown taking their bribes in cabs, private cars, hotel rooms and dressing rooms of some football clubs.
The GFA is defending the act, saying that until they get the video recording, the suspects cannot be faulted.
By Melvin Tarlue