Exposed: How Sahara Reporters Spies The Homes of CCT Chairman, Judges to Discredit The Integrity of The Nation’s Judiciary By Akpan Bassey
All indications have shown that Sahara Reporters, a politically sponsored online platform which has unashamedly sold its soul to the devil, apparently has never relented in its pursuit of spreading falsehoods; rather, it has upped its game by spying over the houses of not only the personnel of the Code of Conduct tribunal (CCT), including its chairman, Mr. Danladi Umar, but also all the personalities in the judiciary arm of federal government of Nigeria. It is an understatement that the online medium which has in current times, concentrated its energy in digging down the judiciary for information and twisting the information to the tunes of its sponsors, is on a paid assignment of soiling the integrities of the nation’s law lords. With the recent preemption of court cases, especially on the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki, one would conspicuously see that the platform, which has left a lot of Nigerians spoon-fed with erroneous submissions and lies, is not only a tool to protect the interest of its sponsors but also a threat to the privacy of judiciary and judicial officers in Nigeria. This is because virtually the judges’ households and that of their associates are the strong sources of its distorted facts. Reports have exposed the platform’s operator, Omoyele Sowore, connects his deployed spies and blackmails judges via his hotlines: 08097048153 and +16467045433.
Remember few weeks ago, the Special Adviser to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu blew the whistle that SaharaReporters is on the mission of maligning and bringing to dishonor, the person of his principal. The Senate President’s aide, in that report, was bittered that it is constant with the online news platform in its calculated attempt to always malign and bring to disrepute, on all topical issues, the Senate President, Dr. Abubukar Bukola Saraki. All sensible Nigerians should share the conclusion of Olaniyonu that SaharaReporters represents the greatest shame of the professional genre it pretends to represent and disregard its day-to-day anti Saraki fairy tales. Conversely, people would conspicuously see that since all the past orchestrated plans by its sponsors and the CCT chairman have failed, there seemed to be a rapture in their unholy marriage which resulted in the recent blackmails of the CCT chairman on facebook, twitter and other online channels. Unarguably as written by the late Chinua Achebe, things will always fall apart, when the Centre could not fall.
In reminiscening, two months ago, after the apex court dismissed Saraki’s appeal to stop his trial, his lawyer, Ajibola Oloyede filed the lawsuit asking the federal high court to halt his trial and to disqualify the chairman of the CCT, Mall. Umar Danladi whose white garment is evidently full of stains but still stays put to preside over the trial. Meanwhile, as a law abiding citizen, Saraki understood his prayers in the violation of his rights to fair hearing by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which he said did not invite him for clarification according to the law of the federal republic of Nigeria, Section 3D, before it filed charges against him at the CCT. The worst of it all was that he heard about the trial first from Sahara Reports, even before he was served the handy copy of the letter. This also exposed the thick political conspiracy involved in the trial which gives the credence to it being regarded as harassment. It is significant to revisit the two corruption allegations on Mr. Danladi and his impunity displayed when he was summoned to appear before the House of Representatives Committee. A petition however requested the House to investigate alleged acts of impropriety purportedly committed by Umar while the other requested it to investigate the office of the Attorney General of the Federation for its failure to act on investigations ostensibly conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on him.
Its most recent libel act is that, which made Justice Abdul Kafarati of the federal high court, Abuja, to withdraw from a fundamental rights suit filed by Saraki’s lawyer, Ajibola Oloyede to quash the trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Monday 22nd March, 2016. The judge who earlier disqualified himself from the trial with the explanation that his integrity had been called into question in the matter, having read a report of Sahara Reporters accusing him of corruption to the tune two billion naira, has now been re-assigned to take over by the Chief Judge of Federal High Court Abuja this week. I personally am not happy seeing our Judiciary operating with fairy tales fabricated by some individuals from the corners of their houses and circulating online. In that earlier circumstance, he deemed it fit to disqualify himself from this case thereby sent the case file to the chief judge for re-assignment to another judge. If Judiciary is believed to be the last hope of the common men, then I can say that the hope has been dashed out. Kafarati’s decision was borne out of his hard-built good name which was up for staining with slots of mud by the trivial media platform called Sahara Reporters, though, I would have loved the platform shamed at the end. After all, the EFCC it claimed alleged the Judge of 2 billion naira bribery, refuted the news the next day the platform allegedly dragged its name in, that it was the figment of imagination of the owner of the platform and its sponsors. Well, I sound it laud and clear to Umar Danladi and other Judges in Nigeria that ‘Watch your back” by doing the right thing or “get blackmailed”.
Sane Nigerians won’t be disappointed if Sahara Reporters does some preemption on the High Court judgement to come up this week but will, when when our judicial officers, once again succumb to mere threats of blackmail by unethical platform.
Akpan Bassey is a Public Affairs Analyst from Eket, Akwa-Ibom State.