Kwesi Nyantakyi’s wife, Christine-Marie Nyantakyi, suspects something beyond the physical may have pushed her husband to act the way he did in the investigative video by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his Tiger Eye PI team, in which he was caught taking money for a supposed sponsorship deal, and saying things that has landed him in trouble.
Mr. Nyantakyi has been banned from all football activities for the rest of his life, and has been fined 500,000 Swiss Francs (equivalent of Ghc2,414,276.46 and $497,490.00 respectively), for various breaches of FIFA’s code of ethics after the exposé.
In her first time interview on the matter on Good Evening Ghana on Metro TV on Tuesday, she told the Host, Paul Adom-Otchere, that she could not gather courage to watch the full video.
‘We paid $100,000 to stop screening of Anas video’
Asked whether it was true that Mr. Nyantakyi had attempted to make some payments to ensure that the video was not shown, Mrs. Nyantakyi said “well, there’s information, and there’s truth in that information. Apparently, we became so desperate when we realized that all that they presented to us were false, so we tried to make some interventions, and they proposed that he pays some money. They proposed $150,000; my husband couldn’t afford it, so he gave out $100,000 dollars, and they came back to him and said the person says you need to add $50,000, and he said well, I don’t have it; that’s all that I have.
She however noted that the $100,000 was later returned to them when the video was shown.
Mrs. Nyantakyi on Good Evening Ghana.
“They brought $40,000 first; and then later on, they brought $60,000 dollars. I have not gathered the courage to watch the full video, because the small that I watched, I knew that the way he is talking; that is not my husband; something might have gone wrong.”
Asked what she believed might have gone wrong with him, she said; “I don’t know what they did to him. My husband is a very skeptical person; I don’t know what they did to him to follow them like that. You don’t just get him to follow you like that.”
When the host asked if he could have been under a spell or some incantations, she responded in the affirmative.
According to her, the husband informed her that he had received $40,000 on his second Dubai trip, and that the amount was to cover for the cost of his trip.
“He told me this long before the video came out. He said it was for reimbursement of his ticket, because that was the agreement they had. So he accepted the money with the belief that it was a refund for his trip as agreed.”
What she knew about the sponsorship deal and the Dubai trip
According to Mrs. Christine-Marie Nyantakyi, who’s also the Director of Oasis Montessori School at Teshie Greda Estates, all she knew about the supposed sponsorship deal that turned out to be a hoax, was when on one Sunday in September 2017, she met two gentlemen at home with her husband. She said her husband later informed her about the mission of the visitors (Abu, who’s the Northern Regional RFA Chairman, and Ahmed, who’s Abu’s friend).
“He [Kwesi Nyantakyi] told me that Abu has approached him together with the other guy about possible sponsorship for the Black Stars; and Paul you know that for some time, the Black Stars didn’t have any sponsorship and it was a big worry to him; so he was eager and very much enthused about the possibility of getting a sponsorship for the Black Stars, so I guess that’s how it started.
I didn’t know the Ahmed guy, but I had heard of Abu although I was meeting him for the first time”.
According to her, her husband initially had some doubts about the deal, but went ahead after he felt convinced by Abu.
“At a point in time, I heard him on phone asking Abu if he was sure of the people. But I guess his eagerness to get the sponsorship for the league and the Black Stars also pushed him.”
She said it was after the third trip to Dubai when they were unable to meet the supposed Sheikh, that her husband informed her about the details of his two previous trips to Dubai, because he had become suspicious.
The wife said the secret filming that nailed her husband, took place during the second trip.
“After the third trip, he called the numbers of the supposed investors but they never picked up. My husband was perplexed; he was not even thinking about secret filming; but he just got a sense that maybe it was a sham, and perhaps they didn’t have the capacity to sponsor and so they were running away. It was later that we realized this was the motive for all that happened.”
She said her husband got to know about the video in January of 2018, six months before the film was shown.
“…So he tried to find out why it was done; and he got to know those who were behind it. So he became a little bit apprehensive and naturally so. He contacted a friend in football who promised he can help to talk to whoever did it. The video was showed to him, but there was no sound. We have videos of the same modus operandi they’ve used on other people.”
My husband is pained
Mrs. Nyantakyi said her husband is pained, as he kept wondering what the motive could have been for all of this plan against him.
“His worry and the bother is what the motive was; so he tried to find out from people why they did that. The motive for somebody planning, plotting, strategizing and executing this just to make sure he’s disgraced. So that has been his pain and worry; he doesn’t mind at all whatever has happened; he has taken that in good faith, but each day he keeps asking what have I done wrong? If they wanted me out they could have found another way; but that scheming to that extent”.
She suggested that what happened to her husband, could befall anyone, if people were to shine the light on what others have discussed or done in their closet with people they trust.
“Paul, I mean we are all human beings…the conversations that we have every day amongst us as friends, as associates and business partners, if those conversations are taken out, all of us will be in trouble. The sociologists will tell you that human beings are complex beings; as soon as a light is thrown on you; your behaviour, your demeanour, your gestures change; so you talk to somebody knowing that there’s no one else watching you, there are no cameras; and then all of a sudden; everything is in the open. If he had known, I am sure that things that he said or did; he wouldn’t have done them. So that’s the pain that he has…That you come to me; deceive me and then I follow you; for you to do this to me. He’s okay with it; he has learnt a lot of lessons even though very bitterly.”
Although the incident has taken a huge toll on them especially their two daughters, aged 13 and 9; she said they’re coping by the help of God.
“Yes; it’s been tough for us, but we’ve been able to hold on by the grace of God.
‘My husband won’t run away; be patient with him’
She pleaded with Ghanaians to be patient with her husband; saying he’s not running away from the country.
Mr. Nyantakyi himself has described the punishment as “harsh and unfair”, and has served notice he will be appealing the decision; a position his wife strongly agrees with.
“Fifa is an association and it’s governed by a code of ethics; so if you break the code of ethics; you’re sanctioned; so whatever has happened; it’s a sanction; it’s not a criminal finding. People are saying Fifa has banned him so what’s Ghana doing. We’re talking about two different things here. To prove that somebody has committed a crime, you need to go through some processes. And the law says that a person is presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise” she noted.
Mr. Nyantakyi was first handed a 90-day provisional ban in June 2018, after the showing of a video and audio evidence of allegations of corruption leveled against him by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in his piece titled, Number 12.
The suspension was further extended by another ninety days in September 2018, before the announcement of the lifetime ban on Tuesday.
Anas and Tigereye PI petition to Fifa
On Wednesday, June 6, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee received a complaint and request from journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas through Cromwell Gray LLP, to commence investigations into the conduct of Kwesi Nyantakyi based on the content of the journalists’ latest investigative film titled ‘Number12’.
The piece captured Kwesi Nyantakyi in a compromised position. He was filmed supposedly taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.
The video among other things captured top officials of the football association including its President, Nyantakyi taking bribes to influence the invitation of players to the national team, influencing the duration of playing time offered to some players and influencing the selection of unfit players and referees to participate in games.
Also, more than 100 referees were caught on tape taking bribes to manipulate the outcome of games in a team’s favour.
Following the first screening of the video, many called for a complete dissolution of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and immediate resignation of its embattled president, Kwesi Nyantakyi.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was also the first Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) eventually resigned from all football-related positions few days after the video was aired.
Then the suspension from Fifa followed.
At a point, he was investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service after President Akufo-Addo filed a complaint when he watched excerpts of Anas’ video, in which the former FA President was using his name to lure foreign investors.
Ghana gets FIFA-appointed Normalization Committee
Following the eventual halt of football activities in Ghana after the corruption exposé, the government of Ghana attempted to dissolve the FA using the courts, but faced stiff opposition from members of the FA.
Eventually, government and the FA came to an agreement to allow Fifa, to mediate in the matter. Fifa in the end, set up a Normalization Committee for the country in September 2018, which has been given a period of six months to sort out the issues and restore Ghana football to normalcy.
What becomes of Nyantakyi’s suits against Anas?
In the latter part of September 2018, Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi sued undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas. That suit was the second time Mr. Nyantakyi was suing Anas and his Tigereye PI firm. The earlier suit also at a High Court was specifically about defamation.
Nyantakyi wants the High Court to declare that Anas’ secret recording of their conversations as well as publishing same, violates his [Nyantakyi’s] “fundamental human rights to privacy and confidentiality in my dealings with others.”
He wants the court to also declare that the recordings violated his “right to dignity” because he wasn’t consulted before the piece was premiered, and thus prayed the apex court to award damages against Anas and his Tigereye PI firm for the said violations.
It is now unclear what becomes of Mr. Nyantakyi’s suits, considering the turn of events.