Former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi has responded to a litany of allegations leveled against him since the latest investigative piece of Anas Aremeyaw Anas was made public.
Prominent amongst the responses is the controversy surrounding an amount of $65,000 he was reported to have received from Anas and his team in Dubai and what the stated amount was meant for.
He has also in the nine-page document signed by Dr. Martion Luther Obeng (NDC Member and former District Chief Executive of Agona East) given a breakdown of the expenses he incurred on the said trip and why there was the need for a refund.
He has promised to deal with the matter in accordance with the laws of the country and subsequently rendered an unqualified apology to the President, his vice, officials of government and ministers of state.
Read the full statement from below.
Good morning media and fellow Ghanaians.
Thank you for the opportunity you have offered to listen and consider my responses to the investigative report on corruption in Football in Ghana by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team.
From the outset, let me state that I do not support corruption in any form. It is counterproductive and undermines the credibility of any endeavor.
In the same vein, I will condemn any premeditated and deliberately contrived scheme as well as any prejudicial piece of work undertaken under the guise of fighting corruption only for purposes of pursuing the private agenda of people intended to tarnish my reputation and cause disaffection for me among members of the general public.
I wish to first and foremost render an unqualified apology to the following very distinguished personalities. They are;
2.H.E. the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. iii. H.E the former President of the Republic of Ghana. iv. Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State.
3.Senior Government Officials.
vii. The Football Family.
I owe them my deepest apologies because in my interaction with the supposed Sheikh from Qatar and his agents, I made comments that were not responsible for having regard to my stature and experience. Those comments resulted from a poor exercise of discretion arising on the spur of the moment and in the circumstances in which I interacted with the supposed Sheikh and his agents. I think I was carried away by the lies represented to me. I am deeply sorry for the inconveniences my unguarded utterances have caused you.
I also apologize to well-meaning and discerning Ghanaians, who I have by virtue of my indiscretion offended.
I extend the same level of apology to my family, friends and associates for the anguish and hardship this issue has created for them.
In or about September 2017, Mr. Abdulai Alhassan (Mr. Alhassan), then Chairman of the Northern Region Football Association called and informed me that a certain Sheikh Al-Thani of Qatar (Sheikh) had expressed the interest in sponsoring the Ghana Premier League for $5m per annum for 3 years. Mr. Alhassan explained that information about the Sheikh’s interest in sponsoring the Ghana Premier League got to him from a certain Mr. Ahmed Hussein Suale (Suale) who is based in Qatar and Dubai. Mr. Alhassan told me that he knew Mr. Suale in Tamale and believed that the offer was genuine. He further informed me that Mr. Suale had been working with the Sheikh for at least 7 years for which reason the offer was worth considering.
Based on the representations Suale/Alhassan/I at Coco Vanilla (a restaurant at Adjiriganor, Accra) where we discussed the subject. During the meetings Mr. Suale confirmed to both Mr. Alhassan and I that:
(i) Sheikh Al-Thani wanted to set up an oil refinery in Ghana.
(ii) That as a businessman, Sheikh Al-Thani had similar investments in Cote D’Ivoire, Botswana, Lesotho and other parts of Africa.
(iii) The Sheikh Al-Thani was the majority shareholder of their family business known as MedGulf Construction Limited.
Mr. Suale further said that in 2016, Sheikh had initiated a similar move to establish an oil refinery in Ghana. He had held discussions with the previous Government.
Mr. Suale then told us that the Sheikh gave $8m in financial support to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) political party and the then President, John Mahama in December 2016 for the General Elections.
Mr. Suale also said that the Sheikh was ready to offer financial support to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in mitigation of expenses incurred in the run-up to the 2016 General Elections. He then sought our advice.
I responded by saying that if Sheikh Al-Thani spent $8m on a party that had lost Elections, it makes sense to spend the same amount or more on the party that won the election. I further stated that the President, Vice President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers all came out of a costly election so in making the provision to offer financial support to the party, he should donate to the NPP party:
•$5m in the name of (not to) the President
•$3m in the name of (not to) the Vice President • $2m in the name of (not to) Minister and
•$1m in the name of (not to) Deputy Minister
I advised that these amounts should be paid to the NPP party subject to the political parties law. These statements were made in the spirit of a general discussion and were made believing that all present were genuine and credible. Subsequently, Suale and I met the supposed Sheikh in Dubai where I was tricked to repeat the donations in the name of the above officials. I did not know that I was being recorded. I certainly would have exercised a better discretion if I knew I was being recorded.
I would request that, Tiger Eye does us a favour by playing the full videos/audios of all the meetings held with Suale. The only occasion I met the supposed Sheihk was the meeting in Dubai. The video/audio presented to the public cannot be appreciated outside the context of all the meetings and discussions held.
Now, after the meetings at Coco Vanilla, Accra, Mr. Suale confirmed that Sheikh Al-Thani wanted to meet us in Dubai. They offered to provide pre- paid air tickets. Mr. Suale, however, subsequently advised that the Sheikh had requested that I pre-finance the trip and be reimbursed. I agreed and travelled to Dubai. I did not meet the Sheikh as promised. I paid for my ticket and hotel for the trip. Mr. Suale then arranged a second trip which was the only occasion I met the supposed Sheikh. Mr Suale provided me with an outboard air ticket (Dubai- Cairo) only contrary to an earlier agreement to finance an all round trip for me (Accra-Dubai-Accra). Its clearly discernible that apart from a partial leg of the trips I was owed for the rest of airfares board and lodging which were incurred at the request of Mr Suale.
There was, however, a third trip the circumstances of which are unrelated to me personally although the Sheikh again requested through Mr. Suale that I pre-finance the trip to be reimbursed later. Since this trip does not relate to me personally, I do not think it necessary to disclose its details. I also paid for this trip.
It was during my second trip to Dubai that the Sheikh gave me $40,000.00 as reimbursement for the air tickets I pre-financed for my two(2) trips and the third trip.
It must be emphasized that I did not receive any other monies from the Sheikh for any other purpose.
I did not receive any monies for myself or on behalf of the President, the Vice President or any other senior Government official. Let me also clarify that H.E the President, H.E. the Vice President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers and Senior Government Officials had no prior knowledge or subsequent knowledge of all the discussions contained in the video.