Google the word 'Triple'. I did. First thing that popped up was Triple Action Cream, a balm that claims to treat or prevent dry, rough scaly and itchy skin caused by a catch all of every and anything, from diaper rash to skin burns, a side effect of radiotherapy. There is a caveat.
Triple Action Cream is not to be used in sensitive areas including the eyes, inside your mouth, nose and groin area. Further, it instructs - do not apply to recently shaved, scraped, broken or chapped skin.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas (google him), is our very own elusive Triple A investigative journalist. He is determined to apply himself again, this time to unmasking and probing with intent, the sensitive back end of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
In his latest videotaped sting, Triple A is apparently alleging sordid and potentially criminal links by officials of the GFA, in particular its President, Mr. Kwesi Nyantekyi. He claims that Nyantekyi and others at least on one occasion, directly solicited, pandered and attempted to funnel slush funds from potential sponsors and investors. Indeed it is alleged as part of the Triple A sortie, that before the 2016 elections, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost spectacularly, unnamed officials of the party received a back pass from a businessman that could amount into millions of dollars. Tax free, of course.
Former President Rawlings, Founder of the said NDC does not approve of the young bloods in the party and neither it seems, for the skin care regime of the party's Vice Chairman, Ms. Anita Desoso. I strongly disapprove of him publicly disaggregating down and dismissing a woman based on what he says, is the changing colour of her skin tones. Skin bleaching is a significant health risk with deep social and cultural triggers. The Rawlings approach smacked of bullying. Take Desoso on issues. She has many, as does he.
Mr. Rawlings will not agree with me either, that the bloody specter of June 4th, 1979, the first of his illegal coups that brought him to unfettered power, amounted to little else than an insurrection led by a baying mob, contrary to Section 54 of the Armed Forces Act, Armed Forces Regulation, Volume 2. Conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.
This will also go down the wrong pipes with Mr. Rawlings. Armed with a wig and a secret recording device, Triple A, may well deliver on June 6th 2018, the atemuda of public exposure and probity that Chairman Rawlings threatened to unleash. Today, 29 years on, without a single shot fired or a voice raised, Triple A's expose - titled Number 12 - to be premiered in Accra and across the country, may do to the NDC and its mates at the GFA, that which it is that Mr. Rawlings did not deliver.
It must be stated, that the allegations made by Triple A are both strongly denied and are subject to inquiry by the Ghana Police Service. President Akufo-Addo has asked for an investigation into if indeed, Nyantekyi in a secret recording, bandied his name around in an attempt to pressure money out of a businessman.
Of Rams, Fowls and Fouls
It was Triple A, whose investigations into corruption and bribery in the judiciary revealed that the offer of a goat and a few tubers of yam (alas Anas didn't specify if the tuber in question was of the pona variety, my personal preference) to the right court clerk and/or judge could do the trick. Literally. One of the judges caught in Triple A's snare then, was pictured wearing a foul singlet and unfortunate pair of shorts, of sorts, whilst receiving his dingy back pass, an envelope preceded probably by a gift of a fowl. Triple A's work prompted an investigation ordered by Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo. A number of court clerks and officials judges lost their reputations and jobs.
What, if anything can/will Triple A and the airing of his investigation into the GFA's business model, prove in the courts of public opinion and the law? Where is the critical intersection between this work and the still pending Right to Information Law that should in principle, enable Triple A and others to request details of public officials and agencies, without resorting to disguises? Where/will the Office of the Special Prosecutor emerge to actually tackle routinely, consistently, without the benefit of Triple A's special effects, the deep concerns that many have about abuse of power and corruption in high places?
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), a non profit organisation, has carved a niche for itself providing training, alerts, opinions and score cards on ethics, standards and compliance amongst the 4th Estate and its clients. Its Executive Director, Sulemana Braimah tagged me in an online questionnaire of sorts, where he sought to solicit opinions on the tactics deployed by Triple A in delivering Number 12.
Braimah asked did the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) - it is not without its critics at home and abroad and it is still a beacon for many in public broadcasting - work with Triple A on this assignment? If so, would their Press Standards Commission, sanction his work?
The question for me comes after the premier of Number 12. Will the MFWA, the Ghana Journalists Association, the National Media Commission, Triple A and others begin an investigation into the deeply rooted culture of Item 13 - soliciting directly, quietly assuming and surreptitiously receiving money, food and favours to cover and squelch news - across the Ghanaian media? If they ever did, vat fulls of Triple Action Cream will be required for shaved, scrapped, chapped and broken reputations. After Number 12, Item 13?