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War Against Nigeria’s Leading Investigative Newspaper

By Farooq Kperogi Twitter: @farooqkperogi A marginal, inconsequential news blog by Nmodu Danlami, an Abuja-based journalist who reported for...

By Farooq Kperogi

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

A marginal, inconsequential news blog by Nmodu Danlami, an Abuja-based journalist who reported for the guerilla media of the 1990s, is being used to maliciously besmirch the Peoples Gazette, which I described in a forthcoming book chapter as “an up-and-coming, uncompromisingly hard-hitting, evidence-based, digital-native investigative news reporting outfit headquartered in Abuja.”

Relying on the resources of his febrile imagination-- or the premeditated propaganda materials supplied to him by a third party--Nmodu’s blog libeled Peoples Gazette’s editor in what seems like a gratuitous smear campaign but that may actually be a sponsored political hit job by the usual—and perhaps unusual— suspects. 

Nmodu never bothered to reach out to the Peoples Gazette editor to get him to respond to the injurious falsehoods against him, never spoke to the EFCC and the DSS, which have been pretty open to the press lately, and capped it off with a last paragraph that dripped wet with intentional propagandistic fraud, which gives a hint of the source of his libel.

Nmodu said the Peoples Gazette editor whom he recklessly libeled left Premium Times after he was accused of “ethical misconduct.” I have some familiarity with the circumstances of his voluntary resignation from Premium Times, and I can confirm that he committed no ethical misconduct. 

Read my May 3, 2020 article titled “Dangote, Premium Times, and Journalistic Ethics” to get the context. The man, along with his colleague who still reports for the Premium Times, got a credible memo that signaled unfair labor practices in Dangote Group. 

But, as is now routine, company executives dismissed the memo as “fake” even it was clearly legit, and Premium Times editors “killed” the story on the basis of the company executives’ dismissal of the memo as “fake.”

The reporter then publicly ruminated on Twitter about the growing trend of dismissing unfavorable but credible news as “fake news.” Premium Times editors argued that by publicly talking about a story they had killed, he violated their social media policies, which they actually didn’t have.

If there was anyone who was unethical, it was the Premium Times editor who went to Twitter to publicly throw his reporter under the bus.

Danlami Nmodu, whom I’ve known since the late 1990s, should be ashamed of himself for making himself a willing tool in the campaign to discredit one of Nigeria’s most credible muckraking news sites. 

Peoples Gazette publishes my Saturday Tribune column, and its editor is well-known to me. Up to this moment, I have zero reasons to call his credibility and probity into question. I would never knowingly associate with anyone or any organization that is immersed in fraud.

Related Article:

Dangote, Premium Times, and Journalistic Ethics

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