Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela, 33, a member of Tiger Eye Private Investigations, an investigative journalism outlet led by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was fatally shot on January 16, 2019, by two men riding a motorbike as Divela was driving in the Medina neighborhood of Ghana’s capital, Accra, according to media reports, a video posted on Twitter by Anas, and Sammy Darko, a lawyer for Tiger Eye Private Investigations who spoke with the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Divela had told CPJ in September 2018 that people had attempted to attack him and that he feared for his life after a politician made comments about him on TV.
According to Darko, local witnesses had noticed the two killers—one heavily built and one slim—waiting for hours in Madina before they attacked. The heavier one pulled the trigger, Darko said. The killers escaped on the motorcycle.
Divela worked on several projects with Tiger Eye Private Investigations, including a June 2018 documentary, "Number 12," which investigated alleged corruption in African soccer, according to a report by the BBC. According to Darko, the film is now part of an investigation by the Ghanaian government into corruption within the country’s soccer leagues, and Divela was assisting government prosecutors with that investigation.
In a May 30, 2018, appearance on the national television channel Net 2 TV, Kennedy Agyapong, a member of parliament from the ruling New Patriotic Party, threatened and encouraged violence against Divela for his involvement in investigative reporting on corruption in Ghanaian soccer, according to broadcast footage from Net 2 TV, which Agyapong owns, and reporting by CPJ.
"I’m telling you, beat him," Agyapong said while an image of Divela’s face aired on screen, according to a translation of the footage posted by Anas. "Whatever happens, I’ll pay. Because he’s bad. That Ahmed."
Previously, in a May 29 appearance on the privately owned Adom TV, Agyapong had chastised Anas and his investigative journalism, then dragged his finger across his throat while making a choking sound.
CPJ’s repeated calls to Agyapong today went unanswered, but he told the privately owned Joy News television channel that he did not regret making the statements about Divela and “it was necessary for me to bring the guys’ picture out for people to see who he [Divela] is” to protect potential targets of undercover investigations. Agyapong also accused Anas of diverting attention from himself as a suspect and called for police to pick up and question the journalist.
Darko told CPJ that Tiger Eye Private Investigations was calling for Agyapong to be charged for his actions.
“It’s possible to bring charge against him. Not for murder, but for abetment,” he said. “We have not accused him of killing [Divela], we are saying that is utterances are criminal conduct.” Darko referenced the 1960 Ghanian Criminal and Other Offences Act, which outlines criminal offense for “directly or indirectly [instigating]…the commission of criminal offence by any other person.”
In September 2018, after Agyapong made comments about him on television, Divela told CPJ that he believed powerful figures in Ghana sought to harm him.
"Since my image was published and [the] public was incited against me […] many people have attempted [to attack me]," he told CPJ via WhatsApp. "These criminals after us are people who are […] associated with powers that be in Ghana and can do anything and get away with it."
Divela told CPJ that he was afraid assassins would be hired to kill him. He said, "Indeed, it [has] been hinted in some quarters that the very man who published [my image] said he was doing everything possible to quell [my] existence."
David Senanu Eklu, assistant commissioner of police and director general for public affairs and communications at police headquarters in Accra, told CPJ on January 17 that detectives from the criminal investigation division are looking into the murder.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo posted on Twitter on January 17, 2019, that he expected the police to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.
Speaking on behalf of the minority in Ghana’s parliament, opposition parliamentarian James Agalga also called for Agyapong to be arrested for contravention of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, according to the privately owned Joy Online news site and Darko.
Anas told CPJ that he was "deeply saddened" by Divela’s killing, but he will continue to report on corruption. "Come what may, we will never stop," he said.