An investigative journalist in Ghana who helped expose a high-ranking official at FIFA as corrupt was shot dead by gunmen on a motorbike as he drove home alone at night, police said on Thursday.
His employers said he was assassinated.
Ahmed Hussein-Suale was killed late on Wednesday, shot twice in the chest and once in the neck at close range while driving in the suburb of Accra where he lived.
Tiger Eye PI, the investigative journalism house that Hussein-Suale worked for, said it had the hallmarks of a professional hit.
“We call on the security agencies to unmask the elements behind this assassination and bring them to book,” Tiger Eye PI said.
Police have not announced any arrests.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo condemned the killing and said he expected police to arrest the perpetrators as soon as possible.
Hussein-Suale worked under the leadership of Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a renowned Ghanaian investigative journalist once singled out and praised by former US president Barack Obama as courageous and who has used undercover television documentaries to expose graft and organized crime in Ghana and across Africa.
Anas appears in public wearing elaborate, multicolored veils over his face to protect his identity. The veils allow him to work without being recognized, but also help to avoid reprisals.
The team’s most recent work focused on corruption in African soccer, which they portray as a murky world of backroom meetings where coaches, referees and even the most senior officials can be bribed to fix games or hand out favors.
The team got one of its biggest scoops when it caught Kwesi Nyantakyi, a member of the FIFA Council and the second most powerful man in African soccer at the time, taking a bribe of US$65,000 from their undercover reporters, who were posing as unethical businessmen.
Nyantakyi agreed to use his position as Ghanaian Football Association president to help the businessmen for a cut of their profits.
Nyantakyi resigned from all of his roles and was last year banned from soccer for life as a result of the documentary.
The film also alleged widespread corruption among other officials, referees and coaches, and the entire Ghana Football Association was shut down by Ghana’s president as a result.
Tiger Eye PI said that Hussein-Suale’s last project for it was the soccer documentary. It did not say what other projects he was involved in.
The BBC said that Hussein-Suale worked with it on various projects, including an investigation into human body parts sold for ritual magic in Malawi.
Some of the methods used by Anas’ team have been questioned and stoked criticism, particularly the tactic of reporters posing as others to trap possibly corrupt figures.
Hussein-Suale’s killing also brought attention to comments made on television by a politician and businessman after the Nyantakyi scandal broke.
Ghanaian Legislator Kennedy Agyapong appeared on his own TV station to denounce Hussein-Suale as “dangerous” and call for members of the public to assault the journalist if they came across him.
“That boy [Ahmed-Hussein] that’s very dangerous, he lives here in Madina. If you meet him somewhere, break his ears. If he ever comes to this premises, I’m telling you, beat him,” Agyapong said.
The station also broadcast photographs of Hussein-Suale, apparently revealing his identity.
Agyapong on Ghanaian radio on Thursday denied any involvement in the killing, but Anas in his Facebook message paying tribute to Hussein-Suale posted a link to Agyapong’s video.
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