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Civil society cautions against fake news

Mr Mukhtar Akoshile, the National Secretary,League of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria, has cautioned Nigerians and media organisations to against spreading fake news to avoid over heating the polity.

Akoshile made the call in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.

He said fake news hampers positive development of the country especially when good people in government were involved.

“We noted with dismay the publication of a report in an online Newspaper, Premium Times on the 20th Oct. 2017 with the caption: “SHOCKING: Buhari administration recalls wanted ex-pension boss sacked for alleged corruption.

“The newspaper had claimed in its report that multiple sources confirmed to it that “Mr Abdulrasheed Maina was secretly recalled and promoted to the position of director in charge of Human Resources in the Ministry of Interior.

“We wish to state categorically that the said report, written by the duo of `Abdulaziz Abdulaziz and Kemi Busari’ of Premium Times was a fake story pivoted on absolute falsehood,’’ he said.

Akoshile also pointed out that items claimed by the writers of the alleged fake news “were corruptibly obtained to cast aspersion on the integrity of Maina’’.

He maintained that such fake news could culminated to mistrust by Nigerians on the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari and the excellent work he has been doing to move the country forward.

He explained that it was on record that Maina was absolved of any wrong doing while he headed the Pension Reform Task Team.

“You will recall that on Wednesday, March, 27, 2013, Federal High Court in Abuja headed by Justice Adamu Bello (Rtd) granted a perpetual injunction restraining his arrest.

“The court also set aside an earlier warrant of arrest issued on him.

“The judge also noted that the Senate failed to annex all necessary documents to aid the dismissal of Maina’s request before the court,’’ Akoshile said.

He emphasised that it was pertinent to disabuse the minds of the public who have read the said fake story from the media orgainsation.

He added that story quoted an imaginary EFCC source who claimed that Maina was still on their wanted list.

He stressed that such falsehood had no positive impact in the development of Nigeria adding that, “the truth eventually triumphed’’

“The final triumph came in the Federation civil service commission which was magnanimous enough to uphold both the Ministry reversal illegal letter of dismissal and the court that invalidate his wrongful dismissal from service.

“Maina was ordered to be reinstated into his rightful position as a Federal Director and so the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR obeyed the erudite pronouncement of the judiciary.

“Maina was reinstated as a Director in the civil service of the federation.

“Nigerians has gone beyond the era of propaganda, lack of investigative journalism, fake news and bidding of pension looters game.

“We see the Premium Times report on Maina as deliberate distraction and ill motives to pervert the end of justice.

“We hereby enjoin members of the public to disregard and discountenance the unfounded publication, ’’ Akoshile maintained.



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