Has Anas Fallen from Grace to Grass with his Investigative Journalism?
I am neither in two minds nor going to be hesitant answering the question about whether or not Anas has fallen from grace to grass as long as his practice of undercover investigative journalism goes.
Having seen both sides of the coin; how Anas himself presents his findings of conducted undercover investigations into corrupt practices by some officials and individuals of interest, to the public, and the detailed hidden methods he resorts to as counter-presented by Kennedy Agyapong (Hon), it is easier for me to make a decision. Similarly, it should be easier for any broad-minded person, being fair to themselves and the public, to make precise decisions.
For us as Ghanaians and/or black Africans to progress as a nation and a people, we need to be fair, bold to tell the truth, take responsible decisions, and condemn wrongdoings no matter who is the perpetrator. We need to rally support for those fighting for justice and peace for all and sundry while condemning the opportunists who at any least chance may want to exploit the poor and the needy to make themselves super rich, famous and popular.
Going back to Anas as concluded from my little knowledge gained about his adopted methodology of investigating thanks to Kennedy, I can vividly declare without mincing words that he has breached the ethics of the media and his profession. Without even talking about how he ended up using his knowledge gained as an investigative journalist and a lawyer to criminally intimidate and blackmail his targets to enrich himself or to gain fame and popularity, his bugging methods adopted to set up and entrap his victims are not only wrong but illegal.
As said in my previous publication, a criminal investigation is conducted not before, but after, an offence has been committed. This can be made much clearer to the ordinary person by saying, you do not put the cart before the horse. However, Anas could be seen to have done exactly the opposite of what is ethically expected of him as an undercover journalist.
Where there was no wrongdoing by anyone, he arranged to set them up, secretly filmed them, offered them gifts and then ran to the public with his doctored or heavily-edited recordings to fool us into believing that he has caught corrupt officials in his drive to fighting corruption in Ghana.
What a case of the pot calling the kettle you are dark. Yes, corruption is ruining Africa and we need to fight it. However, when you volunteer to fight corruption, do not end up availing yourself of certain loopholes to rather become more corrupt than those you are fighting as perceived to be corrupt.
Bugging people’s hotel rooms in or outside Ghana with intent to record them as suspected corrupt officials without having any concrete proofs that they have committed crimes or have the imminent potential to commit crimes, is almost the same as a journalist going his/her own way to hack one’s phone. Such a behaviour is criminal and bears unpalatable consequences.
I shall suggest to readers to read why Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World Newspaper in London collapsed after being purchased by him since 1968 and been in operation until it was investigated for phone hacking by some of its journalists. Following the phone hacking allegations, the Leveson Inquiry was set up by the British Government to investigate the extent of the phone hacking, those hacked and for what reasons.
In the end, it came out that those who hacked the phone numbers of the victims were wrong. Punishments were prescribed for them and the News of the World subsequently folded.
“The Leveson inquiry was a judicial public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal, chaired by Lord Justice Leveson, who was appointed in July 2011. A series of public hearings were held throughout 2011 and 2012”
The illegal methods used by those whose actions resulted in the setting up of the Leveson Inquiry in the United Kingdom are not different from Anas’ bugging of the rooms of his targets, arranging meetings with them even outside Ghana in Dubai, offering them money-gifts and then running to premiere to the Ghanaian public that he has uncovered corrupt officials.
Some people may still not be open-minded enough to see the wrongdoings by Anas but to continue to worship him as their hero. That is their cup of tea. No one is against him fighting corruption but he has to go about it in the correct way but not the “Ghana dee saa” way where he ends up richly corrupting himself more than those he claims to be corrupt.
I expect Anas to be like Zacchaeus the Tax Collector to exonerate himself from blame.
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
May I appeal to fellow Ghanaians not to hero-worship individuals blindly but to be very objective? Anas had good intentions but he allowed greed to take the better side of him hence ending up lying and swindling some of his victims. Having known the truth thanks to Kennedy, do we still blindly continue to see Anas as an angel? Until he has apologised to the nation and those that he has cheated or gone the path of Zacchaeus, he has to forget it, his reputation is in tatters.
For lack of knowledge, Ghanaians perish. Please let us read, do research and we shall acquire knowledge to understand when one makes submissions. We do not have to “swallow something hook, line, and sinker” meaning “to believe something completely”.
The downfall of a man is not the end of his life. Should Anas do as I have suggested to him, he can regain his lost reputation. At the moment, he is not a reputable international journalist from what I have come to see and hear about him. Therefore, it is up to him to redeem his image. Court suits and the publications in the Crusading Guide in attempts to continue to project him as an angel will not do him any good but will rather compound his woes. The cat has already been let out of the bag!
I dedicate this publication to Wofa Yaw Skido the Italiano, and all those who are aspiring to know the truth that shall set them free from ignorance and undue hero-worshipping.
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