April 30, 2022

HURIWA condemns alleged malicious publication against Amb Buratai



By Dirisu Yakubu, ABUJA

Ace rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has condemned what is called “recurring malicious publications” against former Chief of Army Staff and current Nigerian Ambassador to Benin, Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (retd).

This is as the group alleged that the publications were the handiwork of an unnamed top serving military personnel “who wants to rubbish the towering stature and the global image attained by the erstwhile Army Chief.”

HURIWA in a statement by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, advised media houses to adhere strictly to ethical codes of journalism practices “which highlights the key role of factuality, objectivity, balance and sticking to the provisions of the constitution and the plethora of media laws and especially the law against defamation and libel.”

According to Onwubiko, “a fresh publication which rehashed a rested subject matter on the Dubai properties of Buratai has just surfaced in a section of online media. The subject matter which the said publication hastily tried to re-post to the public has since over four years been put to rest by the federal authorities as the Code of conduct Bureau having investigated the matter cleared Buratai of any wrongdoing and found him not guilty.”

The statement read: “These publishers are serial defamers having written falsehood against many personalities in the past.

“The falsehood peddled by these media houses against Buratai should not be left unattended to and one wonders why a sane person would rehash an issue that has been rested and cleared by federal authorities more than four years ago. This is why HURIWA praised the legal team of General Buratai for promptly responding to this latest round of defamatory publications against their client.

“It is appalling that journalists who hitherto practised with some good reputation in Abuja years back would be available to be used by a senior military who hates Buratai’s towering profile and went about hiring hack writers to try to demonize the General apparently because he is a gentleman.

“This action of these media practitioners is unprofessional and unethical. Section 391 of the Nigerian Penal Code states that ‘Whoever by words either spoken or reproduced by mechanical means or intended to be read or by signs or by visible representations makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm or knowing or having reasons to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation of such person, is said to defame that person.’

“Articles 512–514 of the Nigerian Criminal Code are quite plain on this issue, ‘Defamatory matter is matter likely to injure the representation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by an injury to his reputation…’

He called on Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to probe “these persons to stop the reckless actions and serve as deterrence to others,” even as he charged the ex-Army boss to seek legal redress on the issue.

Vanguard News Nigeria