Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas last week reported the alleged misconduct of Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, to the world football governing body, FIFA [Federation Internationale de Football Association].
Following that, Mr Nyantakyi who was a FIFA Council Member and has just resigned his position as President of the Ghana Football Association was banned for 90 days.
Anas in a sting operation captured Mr Nyantakyi on video entering into sponsorship deals with some investors who ended up being undercover agents for Anas.
Anas in his petition to FIFA dated June 4, 2018 argued that Mr Nyantakyi’s conduct contravened FIFA’s ethics and therefore asked that he should be banned for life from all football related activities.
Below is the full petition:
Complaint against Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi
Request for the Institution of Investigations in respect of Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi
1.1 This complaint and/or request for the institution of investigations is brought in respect of the conduct of Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, a Ghanaian who holds the following positions in football:
- Member of the FIFA Council
- Member of the FIFA Associations Committee
- First Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF)
- President of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone B
President of the Ghana Football Association
1.2 Upon the grounds set out below and the attached documentary and audio/visual evidence, we deem Mr. Nyantakyi’s conduct to be highly unethical and damaging to the integrity and reputation of football and that of FIFA as proscribed by article 1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
1.3 We submit, by virtue of article 5 of the FIFA Code of Ethics that Mr. Nyantakyi’s conduct constitutes acts of commission done deliberately as an active participant in a scheme in breach or violation of articles 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, and 22 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, and articles 61 and 62 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
1.4 We submit that Mr. Nyantakyi should, as a consequence, be banned for life from taking part in any football related activity in pursuance of article 6.h of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
2.0 Bases of Complaint/Request
2.1 I am an investigate journalist of Ghanaian nationality. For a period of three (3) months in 2017, I (together with my associates operating under the corporate name of Tiger Eye P.I.) conducted an undercover investigative journalism work into perceived corruption of Mr. Nyantakyi.
The investigation sought to ascertain whether there was any basis for the perception, especially after the much-publicized money claims fiasco that characterized Ghana’s participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
2.2 We have found Mr. Nyantakyi abusing his office, breaching his fiduciary duties, engaging in acts of egregious conflict of interest, demanding and receiving gifts and other benefits, and engaging in bribery and corruption. These were uncovered by way of hard facts, captured on audio/visual recording, electronic mail correspondence, and a memorandum of understanding drafted by Mr. Nyantakyi in his handwriting, and subsequently type-printed and signed by him.
2.3 My outfit presented itself to Mr. Nyantakyi as a company incorporated in Qatar named Medgulf Company Limited, led by its Chairman, a supposed Qatari royal named H.H. Sheikh Hammad Al Thani – as interested in sponsoring the Ghana Premier league and other football products and general construction contracts in Ghana. We arranged a meeting with Mr. Nyantakyi through the Northern Region Chairman of the Ghana Football Association, Mr. Abdulai Alhassan.
2.4 Our meeting with Mr. Nyantakyi, which was secretly audio-visually recorded, came off on 7 October 2017 in at Jood Palace Hotel in Dubai. It was attended by Mr. Nyantakyi, Mr. Abdulai Alhassan, my outfit comprising of a person supposedly being H.H. Sheikh Hammad Al Thani, his supposed secretary, Dr. Marzuq A. Albadawir, and other staff of the supposed Sheikh, including two other persons, supposedly the brokers of the meeting.
2.5 The meeting covered two transactions – sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League and government contracts in Ghana. The meeting was in two phases. The first one took place in the living quarter of the hotel room; and the second came off in the bedroom. The “Sheikh” offered USD65,000 to Mr. Nyantakyi as money for shopping. Mr. Nyantakyi collected the money and stuffed it into a polythene bag and carried it away with him. After the meeting, Mr. Nyantakyi proceeded to another room with some of the members of my outfit, where he handwrote a memorandum of understanding to capture the nature of the transaction.
2.6 We booked the Taj Hotel, Dubai for Mr. Nyantakyi where he spent the night.
2.7 Subsequently, circa 23 October 2017, by an electronic mail he sent from his official Ghana Football Association inbox – email@example.com – Mr. Nyantakyi attached a typed memorandum of understanding based on the one he handwrote. Mr. Nyantakyi and Mr. Abdulai Alhassan had already signed the document as representative and witness, respectively. In the body of the mail, Mr. Nyantakyi invited my outfit to sign our portion. He advised that the money for the sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League should be wired to Cal Bank Limited in Accra in the designated account of a financial institution, Fountain Savings and Loans Limited -which he described as belonging to him.
2.8 Our investigation revealed the equity holding structure of Fountain Savings and Loans Limited as follows:
• Newfikin Limited – 6,500 shares
• Kwesi Nyantakyi – 6,000 shares
• Pro KN Communications – 2,250 shares
2.9 Mr. Nyantakyi is also the sole shareholder of Pro KN Communications -thus making him the majority equity holder in fountain Savings and Loans Limited – confirming his assertion of ownership.
2.10 After waiting for weeks without the transfer of the sponsorship money, Mr. Nyantakyi grew restless and sent an electronic mail circa 12 November 2017 to my outfit (the supposed Dr. Marzuq A. Albadawir) complaining about the lateness of the arrival of the money.
2.11 Circa 25 November 2017, Mr. Nyantakyi sent another email to my outfit (the supposed Dr. Marzuq A. Albadawir) detailing the payment to be made at the time and offering the supposed Dr. Albadawir USD 100,000 a year for three (3) years on the earned commission of 10%. Mr. Nyantakyi also offered USD20,000 to the supposed Dr. Albadawir, being 10% of an appearance fee of USD200,000.
2.12 Through a further Series of emails exchanged between Mr. Nyantakyi and my outfit (mainly the supposed Dr. Marzuq A. Albadawir), Mr. Nyantakyi set up in clearer form the scheme for the sponsorship for the Ghana Premier League and government contracts.
Scheme of the Sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League
2.13 In respect of the sponsorship of the Ghana Premier league, Mr. Nyantakyi set out a scheme both orally (in the audio-visual recorded meeting); the handwritten and printed memoranda of understanding; and in electronic mail correspondence as follows:
• Medgulf Company Limited (my set-up outfit) would sponsor the Ghana Premier League up to the sum of USD15m over a period of three (3) years.
• A company would be formed in Ghana, demonstrably – Namax.
• Namax (which Mr. Nyantakyi initially rendered as Nama in the handwritten memorandum of understanding and on whose behalf Mr. Nyantakyi signed on the type-printed memorandum of understanding and perplexingly in his position as the President of the Ghana Football Association; and on whose behalf Mr. Abdulai Alhassan signed as witness and in respect of which he was represented as Director) would be the agent which shall represent Medgulf Company Limited in its dealings with the Ghana Football Association – to be paid a commission of 5% by Medgulf Company Limited.
• The commission fee of Namax would be separate from the amount chargeable to the Ghana Football Association.
• Namax would seek the interests of Medgulf Company Limited in its relations with the Ghana Football Association, and act as the sole and exclusive representative of Medgulf Company Limited in respect of its business dealings in Ghana.
• The sponsorship amount would be paid to the Ghana Football Association through an account to be designated by Namax.
• Namax would charge the Ghana Football Association between 20-25% of the sponsorship; and the amount would be shared between Mr. Nyantakyi the other participants.
• The sponsorship money would be wired to Fountain Savings and Loans – of which Mr. Nyantakyi is the majority equity holder.
• Namax is wholly owned by Mr. Nyantakyi, and it was incorporated in Ghana by him on 17 October 2017, ten days after the meeting in Dubai, to facilitate the transaction.
Scheme of Government Contracts
2.14 In respect of the offer to introduce my outfit to the Government of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Nyantakyi demanded USD12m as “appearance” fee to be distributed as follows:
• President of the Republic of Ghana – USD5m
• Vice President of the Republic of Ghana – USD3m
• Minister for Roads & Highways – USD2m
• Deputy Minister for Roads & Highways – USD1m
• Kwesi Nyantakyi – USD1m
3.0 Violations/Breaches of the FIFA Code of Ethics
3.1 By his conduct, as detailed in paragraph 2 above, Mr. Nyantakyi violated/breached the FIFA Code of Ethics as follows:
Abuse of Position
3.2 Mr. Nyantakyi failed to act with complete integrity as required by article 13.3 and he abused his office for private aims and gains as prohibited by article 13.4.
Breach of Loyalty/Fiduciary Duty
3.3 The various positions Mr. Nyantakyi holds in football (as detailed in paragraph 1.1 above) set him in a fiduciary position by being placed with the utmost trust and confidence to manage and act in the best interest of the Ghana Football Association, the Ghana Premier League and the various clubs. Good conscience and the highest standard of care were required of him to act for the sole benefit of these entities.
3.4 However, Mr. Nyantakyi rather acted to serve his own interests to gain and engineer gaining private pecuniary benefits to the detriment of these entities contrary to article 15.
Conflict of Interest
3.5 The nature of the transaction as crafted by Mr. Nyantakyi clearly marks him as acting in a transaction with an existing conflict of interest in breach of article 19 – being the president of the Ghana Football Association, and re-engineering himself at the same time to act as a paid agent for Medgulf Company Limited in respect of that company’s dealings with the Ghana Football Association, and also aiming at charging the Ghana Football Association for the same services. Further, by giving instructions for money intended for the Ghana Football Association to be wired to a financial institution of which he is the majority equity holder.
3.6 Mr. Nyantakyi clearly had a personal interest that detracted from his ability to perform his duties with integrity in an independent and purposeful manner.
Demand/Receipt of Gifts and other benefits
3.7 Mr. Nyantakyi breached article 20 by collecting a gift of USD65,000 and recrafting himself as an agent acting for the other party in a transaction involving the Ghana Football Association and demanding and placing himself in a position to receive agency fees from both the Ghana Football Association and the other party.
3.8 Mr. Nyantakyi breached, in particular, article 20.1 by receiving and demanding gifts and other benefits from persons outside FIFA that created an undue pecuniary advantage for him in respect of an act that is related to his official activities and falls within his discretion and also creates a conflict of interest.
3.9 Mr. Nyantakyi also breached article 20.2 by receiving and offering to accept cash in respect of a transaction involving the Ghana Football Association.
3.10 Further, Mr. Nyantakyi breached article 20.4 by failing to refrain from conduct that gives rise to the appearance or suspicion of improper conduct.
Demand for Commission
3.11 By arranging to receive an agency fee of 5% from Medgulf Company Limited and a further 20-25% from the Ghana Football Association, Mr. Nyantakyi breached article 22 that prohibits a person in his position from demanding commission for himself for negotiating a deal in the performance of his duty, without the sanction of the association.
Bribery and Corruption
3.12 Mr. Nyantakyi breached article 21.1 by receiving cash; arranging to receive money; offering money and percentage cuts to the supposed Dr. Marzuq A. Albadawir in respect of the sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League; and demanding money for himself and political authorities in Ghana to obtain or retain government contracts, thereby gaining an improper advantage.
3.13 In addition, Mr. Nyantakyi’s conduct was contrary to his duties and amounted to offering, demanding and receiving an undue pecuniary or other advantage for the execution of an act that is related to his official activities.
3.14 Further, Mr. Nyantakyi breached article 21.3 by not refraining from an activity or behavior that might give rise to the appearance or suspicion of improper conduct.
4.0 Violations/Breaches of the FIFA Disciplinary Code
4.1 We also submit that put together; Mr. Nyantakyi’s conduct amounted to corruption under article 61 and passive corruption under article 62 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
4.2 The submissions detailed in paragraphs 3.12 – 3.14 above also hold true for corruption under article 61 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
4.3 Then again, the charge of passive corruption under article 62 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code is made out on the ground of Mr. Nyantakyi’s solicitation for money, being promised and accepting an unjustified pecuniary and other advantages.
5.0 Basis of Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction Ratione Personae — By Reason of His Person
5.1 By his reason of his position as an official of FIFA, Mr. Nyantakyi is bound by the FIFA Code of Ethics by virtue of article 2. In addition, articles 5 and 27.1 mandate the Ethics Committee to pronounce on matters relating to the FIFA Disciplinary Code. Therefore, the Ethics Committee has jurisdiction to open investigations into the conduct of Mr. Nyantakyi.
Jurisdiction Ratione Materiae — Subject-Matter
5.2 The matters detailed in paragraphs 1-4 above put the subject-matter of this complaint/request squarely within the scope of applicability of the FIFA Code of Ethics as provided by article 1, as being conduct within association football that has little or no relation with action on the field of play and damages the integrity and reputation of football; and also as being unethical behavior.
5.3 In addition, the matters detailed in paragraphs 1 – 4 above put the subject-matter of this complaint/request squarely within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Committee by being violations/breaches of articles 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, and 22 of the FIFA Code of Ethics and articles 61 and 62 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
5.4 We also submit, by virtue of article 27.2 & 3 that the Ethics Committee is entitled to judge the conduct of Mr. Nyantakyi as a person bound by the FIFA Code of Ethics while performing his duties; and even while not performing his duties on the basis that his conduct is likely to seriously damage the integrity, image and reputation of FIFA.
Jurisdiction Ratione Temporis- Passage of Time
5.5 The time frame (October – December 2017) of the occurrence of the matters that we have outlined to be investigated is well within the purview of article 3 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, which stipulates that the Code is applicable to conduct whenever it occurred.
5.6 By the combined effect of articles 28.1 and 61 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the Ethics Committee may institute investigation into the conduct of a person bound by the Code suo motu – on its own initiative and ex officio at its full and independent discretion, or upon a complaint filed by a person bound by the FIFA Code of Ethics.
5.7 The ex officio mandate of the Ethics Committee to institute investigations into the conduct of a person bound by the FIFA Code of Ethics stands for the proposition that the Ethics Committee is empowered to initiate investigations on the basis of information obtained from any source, much like the ex officio powers of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. This enables persons who are not bound by the FIFA Code of Ethics to trigger investigations.
5.8 Upon this reckoning, we invite the Ethics Committee (by virtue of article 4.3 of the FIFA Code of Ethics to draw on precedents and principles already established by sports doctrine and jurisprudence, especially its own precedent established in investigations like the Amos Adamu case – which was based on an expose by the Sunday Times to institute investigations into the conduct of Mr. Nyantakyi based on the information we have provided in this complaint/request and the attached evidence.
6.1 It is upon the foregoing that we pray that Mr. Nyantakyi be banned for life from taking part in any football-related activity in pursuance of article 6.h of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Tiger Eye P.I.
List of Attachments
1. Audio/visual recording of meeting with Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi on 6 October 2017 at Jood Palace Hotel, Dubai.
2. Transcript of audio/visual recording of meeting with Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi on 6 October 2017 at Jood Palace Hotel, Dubai.
3. Memorandum of Understanding between Medgulf Investments Limited and Nama (sic) Company Limited for the sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League – hand drafted by Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi on Confederation of African Football meeting attendance sheets on 6 October 2017 at Jood Palace Hotel, Dubai.
4. Memorandum of Understanding between Medgulf Investments Limited and Namax Ghana Limited for the sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League — type-printed and signed by Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi as the representative of Namax Ghana Limited and witnessed by Mr. Abdulai Alhassan as a Director.
5. Series of electronic mails exchanged between Mr. Nyantakyi and my outfit (mainly the supposed Dr. Marzuq A. Albadawir), Mr. Nyantakyi set up in clearer form the scheme for the sponsorship for the Ghana Premier League and government contracts.
6. Incorporation Documents of Fountain Savings and Loans Limited.
7. Incorporation Documents of Namax Ghana Limited.
8. Incorporation Documents of Newfikin Limited.
9. Invoice from Taj Hotel, Dubai for Mr. Nyantakyi.