Kennedy Agyapong Struggles To Extricate Himself
The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and journalists, condemned the Columbian-style killing of Ahmed Hussein-Suale, also known as Ahmed Divela, an investigative journalist working for the organization Tiger Eye PI.
The assassination has brought Kennedy Agyapong into a sharp focus. The Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP), had brandished pictures of the slain undercover journalist on television, few months before his killing and many, including the lawyer of Tiger Eye, Kisi Agyabeng, have said this makes him culpable.
But the MP, has distanced himself from Hussein-Suale’s death, saying he cannot fathom why he would engineer the killing of a person who is irrelevant in his life.
Hussein-Suale was shot dead the night of Wednesday, January 16, by unidentified assailants in Accra, while on his way home from work.
The killers who were on a motorbike, had apparently laid ambush for the journalist for over three hours, including seen drinking from a beer bar, according to eyewitness accounts.
He was reportedly shot three times, twice in the chest and another in the neck.
Tiger Eye is known for its undercover exposure of corruption and human rights abuses in Africa, frequently employing tactics such as disguises and hidden cameras.
Its head, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has won fame across Africa for his self-described “name, shame and jail” style of journalism.
Hussein-Suale was part of a 2018 Tiger Eye investigation that revealed mass corruption in African football just prior to the World Cup. Anas spoke about Tiger Eye’s work at IPI’s 2018 World Congress in Abuja, Nigeria.
“The brutal murder of Hussein-Suale underscores the grave danger that journalists, especially those who tackle corruption and abuse of power, face in their line of work”, IPI Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said. “The government of Ghana must swiftly investigate this crime and bring the killers to justice.”
As many as six journalists were killed in Africa last year in connection with their work, according to IPI’s Death Watch. Across the globe, impunity for crimes against journalists remained at a shockingly high level. Analysis of Death Watch data collected since September 2017 shows that in many cases of targeted killings of journalists, investigations are slow, and the perpetrators have not been brought to justice.
Anas and his team of journalists have received several death threats in the past for their work. Following the killing of his colleagues Anas posted a video on Twitter showing a Ghanaian lawmaker, Kennedy Agyapong, singling out Hussein-Suale during a video appearance last year. In the video, Agyapong shows photographs of Hussein-Suale and calls for him to be assaulted.
Anas, confirmed the development on his Facebook wall.
“Sad news, but we shall not be silenced. Rest in peace, Ahmed,” Anas wrote.
But the Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, says the fact that Assin Central MP brandished the picture of the slain undercover journalist on television, few months before his killing, does not make him culpable.
According to him, it is not appropriate for people to condemn the maverick MP on the basis that he exposed the identity of the investigative reporter.
Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr yesterday, the NMC boss, said the matter should be looked at in different perspectives.
“You cannot just condemn somebody merely because he exposed the photograph of another person, you must understand the circumstances of where he was also coming from.
“We must learn to look at things from certain perspectives. The fact that the photograph was released was not criminal. That he promised to reward anybody who might accost this gentleman is a different thing from exposing the photograph. What we must appreciate is that there is no right that is totally absolute. The fact that you set out to expose other peoples wrongdoing which is beneficial to society, there may be others who may not support that. What is criminal is to suggest that you would reward people who do what is wrong,” he said.
He added the Police may invite the MP, if they have bases to question him over the killing of the journalist.
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has implored President Akufo-Addo to take a personal interest in the dastardly murder of the investigative journalist with Tiger Eye PI.
Addressing a news conference yesterday, the GJA President, Affail Monney, charged the president to ensure that the perpetrators of the heinous crime are brought to book.
Tiger Eye PI, said it is terribly devastated by the chilling murder of Ahmed, but remains resolute in uncovering wrongdoing in society.
According to the private investigative firm, Ahmed’s “was an excellent experienced investigative journalist with our team” adding: “We at Tiger Eye PI are terribly devastated by the dastardly act but remain unshaken in our resolve to pursue nation-wreckers and make corruption a high-risk activity in the country.”
It further called on the security agencies to unmask the elements behind the assassination and bring them to book.
President Akufo-Addo has also condemned the killing of an undercover journalist with Tiger Eye PI, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, charging the police to immediately bring to book the perpetrators.
In a short message, President Akufo-Addo “unreservedly” condemned the ghastly murder of the undercover journalist, whose last assignment was on the #Number12.
He said, he expects the police “to bring to book as soon as possible, the perpetrators of this heinous crime.”
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) also unreservedly condemns the killing and calls on the police to promptly and thoroughly investigate the incident to bring the perpetrators to book.