A non-governmental and pro-democracy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has threatened to report to the Nigerian press council a suspected fake news carried by Nigeria Daily.com on a certain All Progressives Congress (APC) governor purportedly receiving bribe of over $5 million from a contractor.
HURIWA through its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf however stated that it has sent a letter to the affected medium to remove the offensive news item or provide irrefutable evidence including verified forensic investigative findings to conclusively affirm the authenticity of that suspected fake news or be prepared to face inquisition from the Press Council, the official ombudsmen of the Print media industry.
HURIWA said it gave the online medium 78 hours to effect corrective measures and stop misinforming its readers or the organization will not hesitate to follow due process to obtain remedy on behalf of consumers of media contents in Nigeria.
The group faulted the quality control employed by the affected news medium which informed the uploading of such a sensational fake news targeting a perceived political opponent of the sponsor of the entire scripts.
HURIWA asserted that the publication on the alleged bribery affecting an unnamed APC governor was a pure blackmail given that the publisher of the website has suspected links to an erstwhile presidential aspirant in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governor of Kano state Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who is nursing ambitions of supplanting his son-in-law as Kano state governor.
HURIWA expressed shock that this sort of unprintable news item could be uploaded for public view when the elements critical to objective, balanced and professional and ethically correct procedures are flouted by the online medium which is supposed to be professionally owned and governed.
HURIWA says it is also planning to write the professional body of online publishers in Nigeria to ask them to investigate the affected news medium.