Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas has said Kwesi Nyantakyi’s wife, Christine-Marie Nyantakyi, made up claims her husband paid $100,000 to stop the public screening of Anas’ exposé on corruption in Ghana football.
That exposé was the undoing of Mr. Nyantakyi, then one of the most powerful men in world football.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee banned Kwesi Nyantakyi for life from all football-related activities and imposed GHc2.4 million fine (500,000 Swiss Francs) after Anas’ team caught him on tape in acts of corruption.
Amid the fallout from the exposé, Christine-Marie Nyantakyi sought to build on an earlier claim that someone or some people tried to blackmail her husband by demanding $100,000.
She said they paid the money in a desperate attempt to stop the screening, although the amount was later returned to them after the screening of the video.
“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 said on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana.
When asked what happened to the $100,000, Christine-Marie Nyantakyi said it was later returned to them by the blackmailers when the probe was made public at a film screening.
But speaking on Citi TV’s Point of View, Anas attempted to punch holes in her claims saying her story was illogical.
“Here you are, your husband has been under a lot of public pressure and he has always denied the issues that have come up. The people who are accusing your husband have come to you and then they have made a demand of a $100,000. You have parted away with the money. Why? If you are innocent, why would you part away with a $100,000?
Anas also questioned why she was yet to name the alleged blackmailers.
“And you can’t mention their names? Because she fell short of mentioning a name. I wish she would have said Anas and his team did but she didn’t and there is a reason for that. Because she knows that never happened. It is simple.”
“All this happens to you. you complain about the effect on your family and you have a last punch to throw at the one who threw this mud at you and you say you are protecting the person? What kind of logic is this?”
Among other things, Mr. Nyantakyi was caught on tape plotting to set up an agency that would broker a sponsorship deal for the Ghana Premier League.
The deal would have seen the former GFA boss benefit significantly more than the association. The agreement under discussion was to be worth $5 million for a year for five years.
He was also filmed taking $65,000 from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.
FIFA concluded that Mr. Nyantakyi violated conflicts of interest statutes and was found to have engaged in bribery and corruption after its probe.
This was after he had been handed a 90-day provisional ban in June 2018.
Anas had petitioned FIFA to commence investigations into the conduct of Mr. Nyantakyi based on the content of the journalists’ investigative film titled ‘Number12’.
Mr. Nyantakyi described the punishment as “harsh and unfair”, and served notice he will be appealing the decision.