Controversial investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, says he took an ethical decision when he spoke to the Presidency ahead of the release of his explosive documentary on corruption in football in Ghana.
Anas explains that he was striving at upholding the ethics of journalism in deciding to show the video to the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and other top government officials at the Jubilee House before the scheduled public showing.
Speaking on a special edition of the Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Thursday the revered journalist said his focus in the exposé was to unearth misconduct and greed in sports in Ghana and other African countries, but not on allegations of corruption at the seat of government.
“We are talking about the President of the nation, the Vice, ministers of state…What do you think would have happened if I went ahead to show the film?” he said justifying how he surmounted what he described as an ethical dilemma.
“I have no regrets going to the President,” he told show host Daniel Dadzie.
Anas has been criticised for showing excerpts of his investigative piece – titled ‘When Corruption and Greed Become the Norm’ – to President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and other top government officials ahead of a highly anticipated premiere.
Many say Anas showed the video to the Presidency because he had an agenda to shield top government officials whose names were mentioned in the video.
In the investigative video, former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi, allegedly told undercover journalists who posed as investors to pay $5 million and $3 million respectively to the President and his Vice, as well as various sums of money to other government officials for a chance to control football in Ghana.
“Let’s put the investigation in context. How did President Nana Addo’s come in? I think that is important. You speak to somebody and he begins to drop names. He says if you want to see the man [President] you must carry $12 million. Where was I going to get $12 million?” he asked.
He reiterated his point further: “The fairness in all this is that someone has done an investigation you have to give the other party a fair opportunity of answering those questions. So yes I went to the President, he gave us his side of the story. We went to the Vice President, we spoke to all the ministers involved to give us their side of the story. Then we [began].”
According to Anas, his team of investigative journalists at Tiger Eye PI did not think the exposé on corruption in football administration would get the high traction it got ahead of the release and after the release.
“I didn’t know there would be this kind of eruption,” he confessed.