I perfectly agree with the Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, that the sort of high stakes investigative journalism being conducted by Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger-Eye PI team is relevant and even indispensable to the nation’s battle against official corruption (See “Bawumia Supports Anas’ Mode of Operation” CitiNewsRoom.com / Modernghana.com 6/3/18). Nonetheless, it is also significant for our leaders to recognize that Mr. Anas and his Tiger-Eye PI team of private investigators are not a permanent substitute or solution for our struggling and woefully underfunded and underequipped state security agencies, otherwise we risk creating the sort of professional monopoly which clearly appears to be the crux of the controversy currently facing the distinguished and well-feared, if not revered, investigative journalist.
For instance, talking about the issue of transparency and integrity, to-date, Ghanaians have yet to learn just how much of their tax money was used to pay the Tiger-Eye PI team of investigators, when former President John Dramani Mahama decided to go into a collaborative venture with Mr. Anas in order to expose judicial corruption. We also need to know what was compromised in the process, since we have been widely given to believe, largely via the proverbial grapevine, that Tiger-Eye PI had conducted investigations into other sectors of government, especially pertaining to the executive and legislative branches of government whose results were never disclosed or released for the consumption or entertainment of the general public, and the condign punishment of the criminal suspects, because his executive patrons had some personal interests to protect.
Mr. Anas has also been recently accused of having taken huge sums of money in kickbacks in order to let some corrupt and criminally culpable individuals off the hook. Mr. Kweku Baako, the longtime mentor and staunch defender of Mr. Anas, has vehemently denied these accusations. But it is quite obvious that the denials of the Editor-Publisher of the New Crusading Guide can at best only be taken with a pinch of salt. For Mr. Baako is not a neutral observer. You see, unlike Vice-President Bawumia, who is also the Ex-Officio Head of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), I strongly believe that our national security agencies need to be better funded and equipped and their personnel better paid to creditably perform most of the corruption investigations that bizarrely appear to have been facilely farmed out to Mr. Anas and his Tiger-Eye PI team of private investigators.
The present state of affairs does not put Ghana’s status as a sovereign nation in a good light. It is almost as if the country contains no professionally trained men and women of integrity who are capable of conducting credible investigations in suspected cases of corruption at the highest levels of government. I also have a problem when Mr. Anas and his Tiger-Eye PI team have to solicit the collaborative assistance of a foreign media establishment like the British Broadcasting Corporation to expose corruption in Ghana. This seriously undermines our sovereignty as a postcolonial polity that was once the veritable hostage of British imperialism.
Here also, the Ghanaian people have a right to know precisely how much the Tiger-Eye PI team was paid by the BBC, since it has long been public knowledge that the British media has been zealously dogging Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), in order to snag the putatively most dynamic and talented soccer manager in the history of postcolonial Ghana with corruption charges, largely involving the fixing of matches at both the domestic and international levels. Not very long ago, for example, Britain’s Channel 4 was widely reported to have unearthed evidence from an investigation that it conducted pointing to the flagrant compromising of Mr. Nyantakyi in the official conduct of his duties.
And so, really, if Vice-President Bawumia were to ask me, I would promptly respond that “relevance” is not what is at issue in the “Number 12” documentary film by the Tiger-Eye PI team, but rather “methodology” or ways and means. For the end may not always justify the means, especially where the targets of investigations may be deliberately selected by some form of inducement, while others who are deemed to be equally culpable are invidiously let off the hook.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
June 3, 2018
E-mail: [email protected]