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Five years on: MFWA calls for an end to impunity over Ahmed Suale’s murder

Ahmed Suale, a member of the Tiger Eye PI investigative that produced the expose on corruption in African football, was gunned down by unknown assailants in Accra on January 16, 2019.

On the fifth anniversary of the journalist’s passing, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) retraces the events leading to, and since that single most appalling attack on press freedom in Ghana:

  1. May 2018 – A leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and MP, Kennedy Agyapong threatens to “expose” investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, if he goes ahead to screen the advertised investigative documentary on corruption in African football.
  2. June 6, 2018 – “Number 12”, the investigative documentary is publicly screened in Accra.
  3. The MP begins carrying out his threat, publishing photographs of members of the team including Anas and Suale who are always disguised.
  4. Agyapong escalates his campaign of hate against Ahmed Suale in particular, calling on his supporters to attack the journalist.
  5. January 16, 2019 – Unidentified gunmen waylay Ahmed Suale’s vehicle in traffic, shooting him
  6. January 21, 2019 – Police announce they have interrogated Ken Agyapong and former Ghana Football Association President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, in connection with the murder.
  7. January 22, 2019, a week after the murder, a high-powered police delegation visits the crime scene. They commiserate with Ahmed Suale’s family and assure them of apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrators.
  8. January 30, 2019 – Kennedy Agyapong says publicly that he does not regret blowing the cover of Ahmed Suale.
  9. February 7, 2019 – Police arrest six suspects over the murder. By March, all suspects are released for lack of evidence.
  10. March 18, 2019 – Ken Agyappong reveals that his campaign of attacks on the Tiger Eye team was instigated by leading members of the ruling NPP who felt Anas’ work was dangerous to the NPP.
  11. July 2019 – Ghana’s Attorney General announces she is yet to receive a docket on the Ahmed Suale case from the Police.
  12. September 9, 2019 – President Akufo-Addo says the assassination of Suale may not be necessarily connected to his job as a journalist and therefore not necessarily an attack on press freedom. The MFWA protests the President’s statement, describing it as unfortunate.
  13. May 24, 2021 – Ken Agyapong names one Ansu Gyeabour as the killer of Suale. Ansu Gyeabour refutes Ken Agyapong’s allegation.
  14. December 13, 2022 – At a forum to commemorate World Human Rights Day, Ghana’s Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, insinuates that the murder of Suale may be unconnected to his job as a journalist. The MFWA responds with an article.
  15. December 22, 2022 – President Akufo-Addo vows that his government will continue to search for the murderers of Suale.
  16. May 15, 2023 – Former President John Mahama and presidential candidate for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), pledges to pursue the case of Ahmed Hussein Suale if he is voted president in 2024.
  17. January 16, 2024 –The impunity, pain and judicial lethargy continues.

Every minute of impunity over Ahmed Suale’s killing is a gain to his killers and an incentive for future perpetrators of attacks on journalists, human rights defenders or whistleblowers. We must not let it continue any minute longer.

The MFWA urges all actors in the media sector to remain steadfast in the demand for an end to impunity over Ahmed Suale’s murder. Despair is not an option.

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