The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has reportedly denied the claim that it commissioned ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas to conduct investigations into corruption in the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
This was contained in a correspondence between the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, and the BBC over the role the broadcaster played in the production of the video.
Anas announced in May that his latest investigative, ‘Number 12’, which was to tackle football corruption was to be premiered on June 6 and was going to shake the foundations of Ghana football.
And shake it did as a five-minute excerpt shown to President Nana Akufo-Addo led him to lodge a complaint with the police for the arrest of the then GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi. Nyantakyi had been spotted using Akufo-Addo’s name in an unacceptable manner.
Reacting to the public announcement for the arrest of Nyantakyi, the Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul-Malik Kwaku Baako, the mentor of Anas, suggested that the video was a collaboration between Anas’ Tiger Eye PI and the BBC.
Speaking on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Baako disclosed that the arrest order had breached a confidentiality agreement and had got Anas and his partners, including the BBC, very disappointed.
“Indeed I can tell you that the BBC is disappointed that this happened. I was disappointed, Anas disappointed because none of us knew that there was going to be a response, I got to know after the event had taken place,” Baako had said.
Kweku Baako sharing his thoughts on attempts to get a court order to stop the public screening of the video also noted that the Anas exposé was “a joint Tiger Eye – BBC project. So if anyone succeeds in placing any form of injunction on this particular project on Wednesday [June 6], it will be shown outside the country on BBC. This is an exercise in futility”
“If they don’t want us to show it here [in Ghana], we know where to seek that relief,” he added.
Coupled with the fact that the BBC also showed the documentary around the same time as Anas’ premiere, many had believed the video to have been sponsored by them.
But in a mail in response to Braimah’s questions, the BBC denied any such work between them and Anas saying they neither commissioned him collaborated with him as rumours suggest.
They said they only wrote a report documentary ‘Betraying the Game’, which is an ‘independent’ and ‘impartial’ report on an investigative work by Anas, adding that they did not sanction or sponsor it.
“Contrary to any reports or rumours you may have heard or seen prior to publication stating ‘Number 12′ was a product of a collaborative work by the BBC and the journalist (Anas Aremeyaw Anas) this was not the case,’ the BBC said in a statement on Monday.
‘The BBC documentary, ‘Betraying the Game’, broadcast after ‘Number 12′ was first put into the public domain, was an independent and impartial work and a report about Mr Anas’ investigation.
‘The BBC played no part whatsoever in his investigation and has never sought to suggest otherwise.
‘Mr Anas is not a BBC journalist, we did not work with him during his investigation or commission him to carry out this investigation,” read the BBC’s reply as shared by Braimah on his Facebook page.