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Yar’Adua’s alleged ill-health: SSS quizzes Leadership chairman, Editor

Posted by Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation on 2008/11/14 | Views: 2416 |

Yar’Adua’s alleged ill-health: SSS quizzes Leadership chairman, Editor


The State Security Service yesterday grilled the Chairman/Editor-In-Chief of Leadership newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda Isaiah, and the Saturday Editor, Lara Olugbemi over a story on the purported sickness of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The State Security Service yesterday grilled the Chairman/Editor-In-Chief of Leadership newspapers, Mr. Sam Nda Isaiah, and the Saturday Editor, Lara Olugbemi over a story on the purported sickness of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The said story, entitled: Yar’ adua sick again ... doctors flown in from Saudi Arabia was published in the last Saturday edition of the newspaper.

Although the management of Leadership apologized to the President and his family, it was adamant that some portions of the story were factual.

The insistence of the management on the factual aspect might have facilitated the invitation of the two journalists to the SSS headquarters in Abuja .

According to the General Editor of the paper, Mr. Chuks Ohuegbe, the two senior journalists were invited for interrogation by the SSS at about 1pm.

He added that the journalists had spent about seven hours with the security agency without any communication.

"They were invited for routine interaction but in the last seven hours, they had been in SSS custody.

"We are not sure whether they will be detained overnight or not. But it is important that the public be aware of their whereabouts."

As at press time, staff of the newspaper, were keeping vigil for the arrival of their leaders.

A source said: "There are strong indications that the journalists might be detained until the conclusion of investigations."

"We invited these journalists for interaction. They are making statements and based on our preliminary findings, we will be able to determine whether they should be charged to court or not.

"The official position of the management of the paper admitted that some portions of the story were factual and a few others not in line with the ethical standards it set for itself.

"We have an obligation to investigate areas that border on security implications. You know recently the SSS had said that there were plans to blackmail the first family."

The spokesman of the SSS, Mr. Kenechuks Onyeogu, said he was not aware of the invitation of the journalists.

It could not be immediately ascertained if the SSS action would foreclose the planned libel action by the President over the story.

Barely 24 hours after the report was published, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, had said that Yar’Adua would sue for libel.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. John Odey, had written Isaiah, and described the report as unethical.

In an open letter to Isaiah, the Minister said the newspaper ought to have been wary of the implications of such a story on national security.

He said story was false, mischievous and diabolically designed to misinform the public, cause disaffection and align with the opposition to overheat the polity.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.