Sahara Reporters shamed by “source”, paper facing libel charge

By Post Nigeria May 23, 2015 17:42

Sahara Reporters shamed by “source”, paper facing libel charge

On February 14, Sahara Reporters published a story titled “Jonathan’s Aide, Omokri Burglarizes House In Delta, Carts Away N25Million Meant For Buying Of Votes” where it claimed that the Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Reno Omokri allegedly burglerized a house in Bendel Estate, Warri.

The report further alleged that Omokri carted away the sum of N25million meant for a pro-Jonathan support group to “buy votes for President Jonathan during the March 28, presidential election.”

Following the story, Omokri demanded an apology within three business days over what he termed a malicious story published by the New York based online news medium.

When the apology was not granted, Omokri served a Cease and Desist Notice on Omoyele Sowore and saharareporters.com through a New York Law firm Daniel Szalkiewicz & Associates, P.C.

The firm also served the notice on Sowore’s financiers, The Omidyar Network and The Ford Foundation.

Now, a source quoted by Sahara Reporters in the aforementioned story, Alex Oyoro, has distanced himself from the report and also denied providing information for the online medium.

Oyoro made this known in his statement of defence at the High Court of Justice, Asaba Division following a suit initiated by Reno Omokri.

In a copy of the statement of defence signed by his counsel, Ovie Abenabe of F.O. Olokor & Co, Oyoro noted that he did not publish through the internet news media, Sahara Reporters, any statement with the title “Jonathan’s Aide, Omokri bulgarizes house in Delta, carts away N25 Milion meant for buying of votes.”

He also claimed that he did not authorize, mandate, instruct and/or encourage the internet news media platform www.saharareporters.com to publish any purported malicious statement about the person of Omokri.

Oyoro added that he doubted the source/origin and authenticity of the report and challenged Omokri to establish the authenticity of same.

Parts of the statement reads, “ the defendant (Alex Oyoro) did not on the 14/02/2015 and/or any other date publish through the internet news media www.saharareporters.com any statement with the title ‘Jonathan’s Aide, Omokri burglarizes house in Delta, carts away N25 Milion meant for buying of votes.’