‘s The government has responded to the opposition National Democratic Congress’s claims that former Ghana Football Association (GFA) chairman, Kwesi Nyantakyi is a close confidante of President Akufo-Addo.
Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide, said the NDC is seeking to bring the name of the President into disrepute.
“The President has had a professional relationship with the then President of the GFA, just as he has with several other persons occupying positions of public interest,” Hadzide said in a statement Thursday.
The former Ghana FA boss came under pressure after investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas released a documentary alleging bribery and corruption against him and other key personalities in football administration in Ghana.
Although the documentary featured other officials like referees, the spotlight was on Mr. Nyantakyi.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Nyantakyi, a former FIFA Executive Committee member was shown in a video recording drafting terms for a sponsorship deal for the Ghana local league.
The video released by Anas also showed Nyantakyi receiving monies the journalist indicated was bribe money. Nyantakyi also claimed to have links with the presidency of Ghana and the supposed investor could get access to top contracts once he gives some money to the President and other top government officials.
There have been severe implication for football administration in Ghana since the screening of the documentary. The Executive Committee of the FA has been dissolved and a normalisation committee put in its stead.
The NDC in a statement on Monday called for investigations into the role the President (Akufo-Addo) played in the Nyantakyi bribery scandal since the former FA boss created an impression he had close links with the president and could influence him with money. .
“It would be recalled that Mr. Nyantakyi was caught on video revealing very worrying corrupt practices and in the process implicated the President of the Republic, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the head of a bribe collection syndicate at the Presidency,” the statement said in part.
“We urge President Akufo-Addo to open himself up for transparent and credible investigations by an independent body to clear his name in the said matter,” it added.
However, the Information Ministry’s statement recalled that Nyantakyi has apologised for “peddling falsehood” against the President.
“Mr. Nyantakyi himself has admitted peddling falsehood relative to the claims he made about the President, the Vice President and other government officials and has since publicly apologised”.
Meanwhile, FIFA has banned Nyantakyi for life from all football-related activities, although he says he will appeal the decision.