By Adenike Lucas
The publisher of a US online news site has been challenged to produce facts, instead of the constant lies he has peddled about Nigerian government officials.
DENISAURUS News reported in the past, how Omoyele Sowore has been doing the bidding of Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, by planting false stories against appointees and associates of President Muhammadu Buhari, PMB, who he perceives to be working against his nomination as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
EFCC workers exposed their boss in his desperate bid to tarnish the image of of the appointees and associates of PMB, such as his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari; the DG DSS, Lawal M Daura, His uncle, Mamman Duara and the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, so as to completely put PMB’s integrity into question.
Aggravated by Senate Rejection
Following his rejection by the Senate on Thursday, 15 December, 2016, due to an intelligence report from state security operatives, this website learnt that Mr Magu has resorted back to putting pressure on the Senate President.
The latest being the sponsor of an article which suggested without any proof, that Senator Bukola Saraki received N3.5 billion from funds related to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) from the so-called Paris Club Fund refund.
In its report, the New York based online media also claimed that Senator Saraki borrowed N5 billion from Alhaji Aliko Dangote to fund President Buhari’s election hence, to repay the loan, he diverted money from the refund to the account of the Kano State multi-billionaire.
The online media did not provide any evidence for its claims about the senator representing Kwara Central.
SR’s Obsession Of Fake Stories Without Proof
In a statement where he denied the allegation, the Senate President said the desire of the publisher of the story to “create phantom information designed to libel him is so legendary and has turned to an obsession.”
The statement which was signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Senator Saraki challenged “Sowore to produce within 24 hours evidence of payment to the Senate President by the NGF”
Sowore as usual is merely creating fiction and quoting faceless, non-existent sources in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) without providing any document or stating any fact to support his claim. This is sheer blackmail and character assassination,” the statement from Mr Olaniyonu reads.
Mr Sowore whose news site claims to have exclusive stories, often with no evidence, has been accused of blackmail. This is not the first time he has been accused of such. Mr Olaniyonu said: “This time he (Sowore) was talking of the Senate President “grabbing N3.5 billion” from the NGF fund.
“We recall how at the commencement of the case on Asset Declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, he was reeling out lies which the proceedings in the CCT have since proved to be untrue.
As at yesterday, the key Prosecution Witness from the Code Of Conduct Bureau has admitted that in September 2015 when they filed the case against Saraki, there was no evidence against him.
“We recall that this same Sowore had alleged that Saraki bribed a former Chief Justice of Nigeria to influence the CCT case. This has since proved to be a lie that cannot be supported by any fact. Later, he shifted his bribery allegation to the Director of Public Prosecution in the Federal Ministry of Justice who he claimed was induced to withdraw the CCT case. This has since been proved to be another bare-faced lie.
“He later alleged that the Senate President had influenced the verdict of a judgement at the Court of Appeal which was then arrested. That was another fabrication not supported by any fact. Other areas where he had concocted lies against Saraki was the allegation that the Senate President was involved in the Sambo Dasuki fund saga. That was another lie.
“Again, when there was a robbery incident involving money owned by a Bureau de Change, Sahara Reporters claimed Saraki owned the money. This has been proved to be a big lie. Just as this claim of N3.5bn payment by NGF has not been supported by any fact.
Mr Olaniyonu said Mr Sowore was deliberately producing fake news.
“It is only in Nigeria that one person will be flagrantly and irresponsibly violating other people’s right without care and get away with it while claiming to be practicing journalism,” he wrote.
He explained that “Journalism is about truth, facts, objectivity founded on strong ethics and responsible behaviour.” Adding that: “It is clear that what Sowore practiced is not journalism but outright blackmail. He goes after those not ready to pay his price. That is why he has continued to live beyond his legitimate means. We are set to expose his game and let people see him for what he is.
“It should be known that there is nothing that depicts corruption more than the circulation of falsehood and engaging in the game of blackmail. Yet, this character claims to fight corruption and acting on behalf of the public while in actual fact he is profiting from this game of deception, peddling wrong information and false news.
“It is our plan to employ all lawful means to protect the integrity and reputation of Dr. Saraki, including exposing the antics of this man who pretend to be acting in public interest.
“We therefore call on all members of the public to ignore and disregard the claims contained in Sahara Reporters stories concerning Saraki and the N 3.5 billion NGF Paris Club fund. The Senate President has absolutely nothing to do with any transfer or repayment of money by the NGF. Like their past reports, a few of which was chronicled above, the fabrications by Sahara Reporters were just figment of the imagination of Sowore and his sponsors.”