Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kwesi Nyantakyi made headlines once again as he accompanied legislator Kennedy Agyapong to file his nomination form for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearership. In a video capturing the event, Nyantakyi could be seen standing by Agyapong’s side as he officially entered the race for the NPP Presidential candidacy.
— #TV3GH (@tv3_ghana) June 21, 2023
Agyapong, who represents the Assin Central constituency, visited the party’s headquarters on June 21, 2023, to submit his nomination, surrounded by his trusted allies, including Nyantakyi. This public display of support from the former football administrator is notable due to their longstanding friendship and the controversy surrounding Nyantakyi’s involvement in investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ exposé five years ago.
The ‘Number 12’ exposé, released in 2018, allegedly captured Nyantakyi accepting cash gifts and engaging in influence peddling. The fallout from the exposé resulted in Nyantakyi’s resignation as GFA President, as well as his removal from positions as a FIFA Council Member and 1st Vice President of CAF. FIFA subsequently issued a lifetime ban and a 500,000 Swiss Francs fine against him. Additionally, Nyantakyi faced charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and corruption by a public officer, though he was granted bail with certain sureties.
Despite these setbacks, Nyantakyi’s lifetime ban was reduced to 15 years following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) three years ago. However, the stain on his reputation remains, as the legal proceedings pertaining to his case are still ongoing.
Nyantakyi’s decision to publicly support Agyapong, despite the lingering scandal, is a testament to their enduring friendship and loyalty. It also raises questions about Agyapong’s candidacy and the potential impact of Nyantakyi’s involvement on the NPP flagbearership race. Agyapong, a prominent figure in Ghanaian politics, will face tough competition from frontrunners Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Alan Kyerematen in the party’s quest to select its presidential candidate.
As the NPP’s internal competition intensifies, the presence of Nyantakyi alongside Agyapong during the nomination filing sends a message of solidarity and resilience. Both men have weathered storms in their respective fields and continue to seek political prominence, undeterred by past controversies. The outcome of the NPP flagbearership race will undoubtedly shape the future of the party and Ghana’s political landscape.