Ahmed Hussein Suale Divela Archives. Credit: Committee to Protect Journalists. - Photo: 2023

Ghanaian Pleads for Help Finding Missing Journalist Brother

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK. 24 July 2023 (IDN) — It’s been over four years since assassins came to his neighborhood, waited for investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela, and then shot him in his car.

“We heard the gunshot,” Kamilu Ibrahim Tahidu, Divela’s brother, recalled in a recent interview with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “Someone ran and said that they were killing our brother.”

Tahidu expressed frustration with the failure by Ghanaian authorities to apprehend those responsible. Certain political elites have not been sufficiently scrutinized, he said, and his speaking out about the murder had brought new threats.

In the year before his murder, Divela was publicly threatened by a politician now seeking to be Ghana’s president.

“If a journalist gets murdered and everyone is silent, nobody seems to take it up,” said a heart-broken Kamilu. “We know that whatever happens, our brother is not coming back. But something should have been done to make sure it never happens again and the only way is to find the people, punish them, and justice will have been served.”

Divela became a journalist out of dissatisfaction with the economic situation for average people in Ghana, his family told CPJ. He worked as a reporter with Tiger Eye Private Investigations, an investigative journalism group headed by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

The identities of Tiger Eye PI members are not publicly known, as they operate largely undercover to document alleged wrongdoing by those in positions of power.

The year before the murder, Anas and Divela received public threats from Kennedy Agyapong, a prominent member of Ghana’s ruling party now seeking to be Ghana’s president.

The threats came ahead of the release of a Tiger Eye PI film exposing alleged corruption among African soccer officials, including then-president of the Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi.

The documentary, “Number 12,” caused an uproar in Ghana’s soccer world when it aired in 2018, prompting Nyantakyi’s resignation and world governing body FIFA to ban him for life from football-related activities. 

CPJ reached Nyantakyi by phone, but when asked about the police investigation into him after the killing, he said, “OK, thank you” and then the line disconnected. Follow-up calls rang unanswered.

In March, a Ghanaian judge dismissed Anas’ defamation suit brought in response to Agyapong’s comments. A similar defamation suit filed in the U.S. is ongoing.

Ghana’s presidential election is scheduled for December 2024 and opposition candidate John Mahama recently committed to “speed up” the investigation into Divela’s January 2019 killing. But words from authorities have offered the family little clarity or comfort.

“They promised to get results very soon,” Tahidu said, recalling a conversation with Ghanaian Inspector General of Police George Akuffo Dampare following his appointment back in 2021. “Soon is yet to come.” [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Ahmed Hussein Suale Divela Archives. Credit: Committee to Protect Journalists.

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