The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is excited by the pledge by former Ghana President John Mahama to pursue the case of Ahmed Hussein Suale Divela if he is voted president in 2024.
Suale, a leading member of the Tiger Eye PI team of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was shot dead in traffic at Madina, a suburb of Accra, by unknown assailants on January 16, 2019. The journalist was involved in an investigation that exposed massive corruption in Ghana and African football in 2018, and so his murder is widely believed to be connected to his work.
Moreover, a few months before the fatal attack, a member of parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, had shown the journalist’s picture on television and called on his supporters to attack him. Ironically, the lawmaker is in the race to become the presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party.
In the four years following the murder, the state has failed to find the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to book. Instead, the government has gravitated from a vow to ensure justice for Ahmed Suale, to insinuations that Suale’s murder may not be connected to his work as a journalist.
The MFWA and other press freedom stakeholders in Ghana and abroad have been piling pressure on the government to find the perpetrators of the murder and bring them to justice.
In spite of the advocacy efforts, there has been little headway in investigations into the incident and hopes are fast fading about the possibility of finding the perpetrators.
However, the waning hopes have received a boost following the promise of the presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to uphold press freedom and pursue the Ahmed Suale case to its logical conclusion, if he is voted back into power.
“To deepen our democracy, the fourth estate of the realm, the media, must also be given a conducive and collaborative atmosphere to operate as the fourth power that they ought to be without threats, harassments and assassinations,” ex-President Mahama said on May 15, 2023, two days after his party’s delegates overwhelming endorsed his bid for a second mandate as President of Ghana.
“In this regard, we shall speed up the investigation of the assassination of Ahmed Suale and the perpetrators shall surely be brought to book,” Mr. Mahama assured during his acceptance speech at the auditorium of the University of Development Studies in Tamale, capital of the Northern Region of Ghana.
“For us at the MFWA, such public statement of commitment to promoting press freedom and ensuring justice for Suale, is a refreshing piece of good news. We are delighted to see this thorny issue being brought to the fore of the electioneering campaign for 2024. We hope that other candidates will make similar commitments, and look forward to holding them to account in that regard when they are elected,” said Muheeb Saeed, Programme Manager for Freedom of Expression at MFWA.