Ghanaian MP summoned by parliament over journalist’s death

Kennedy Agyapong, a prominent figure in the ruling New Patriotic Party, offered a reward to anyone who attacked the journalist
ACCRA, GHANA – MARCH 01: A general view of the Parliament of Ghana during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit, in the capital Accra on March 01, 2016. Okan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

Ghana’s parliament on Wednesday summoned an MP before its ethics body over the shooting death two weeks ago of an investigative journalist who helped to expose African football graft in an explosive documentary last June.

Ahmed Hussein-Suale, part of a team that carried out an undercover investigation, was gunned down as he returned to his home in the Accra suburb of Madina on January 16. 

Longtime MP and wealthy businessman Kennedy Agyapong had published a photograph of Hussein-Suale on his private television channel, saying: “That boy (is) very dangerous. He lives here in Madina. If he comes here, beat him.”

Agyapong, a prominent figure in the ruling New Patriotic Party, also offered a reward to anyone who attacked the journalist.

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The broadcast prompted Hussein-Suale to lodge a complaint with the police.

Speaker of parliament Mike Oquaye said Agyapong’s conduct had “brought the image of the House into disrepute.” 

“The matter has been referred to the Privileges Committee,” he said, promising to set a date for hearings which could lead to Agyapong’s expulsion from parliament. 

Agyapong, who was in the chamber during the announcement, has denied “engineering the killing”.

The documentary by the Tiger Eye investigation team headed by award-winning journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas was aired by last June.

Exposing deep-seated corruption including rampant match-fixing, it led to the banning of the head of the Ghana Football Association and of several football referees and officials in Ghana and across Africa.

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Agyapong said he did not regret his actions.

“I’ve no regret at all by showing his pictures,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t know the guy. He has never offended me. All I did was that I exposed them for Ghanaians to know the other side of Anas.”

Agyapong has been questioned by police, who have offered a 15,000 cedi ($3,000/2,600 euro) reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Hussein-Suale’s death.

The lawmaker, first elected to parliament in 2000, said he did not trust the police to investigate the case thoroughly.

He said he would carry out his own enquiry and has promised a $20,000 reward for information on the journalist’s death.

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The killing sent shockwaves through Ghana, which prides itself on being a stable democracy in the often turbulent West African region, and where there is a high level of media freedom.

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