In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary of the Nigerian most vibrant state Assembly, Mr. Tolani Abati cleared the air on fraud allegations on his principal Rt. Hon Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly which was published by Sahara Reporters.
The statement reads:
‘Our attention has been called to another set of fake reports carried out again by Sahara Reporters, an online medium that has become infamous for blackmailing people rather than follow the true dictates of media ethics.
Its latest series of deliberate falsehoods is coming days after we came out with proof that the medium LIED in its claim that the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, spends N17 million to maintain his office and personal apartment.
Let us start with its latest disparaging story about how the Speaker supposedly approved N258,835,000 to print invitation two months after the inauguration of the 9th Assembly.
It can only take a gullible Nigerian to believe a story of this nature. One would think that the writer was not in his right frame of mind as he put his pen to paper.
WHAT WAS APPROVED FOR THE PRINTING OF THE INVITATION CARD FOR EVENT WAS JUST N1,130,000. But how Sahara Reporters arrived at N258,835,000 beats the imagination of any sane person.
For the avoidance of doubt, the entire inauguration of the 9th Assembly can be summed into a total of N61.3 million as the document accompanying this response shows. A breakdown of the expenses is also glaring for every discerning mind to see that Sahara Reporters is nothing but a tool for blackmail.
In another spurious report, the medium contemptuously claimed that the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, gave approval of N45.7 million for a 2019 Christmas party that never held.
In its rush to satisfy its co-travellers who furnished it with the lies, the traducing medium ‘shot itself in the foot’ by failing to carry out the minutest of investigations - did the party actually hold?
One would naturally have disregarded this particular report. However, it is just necessary to school Sahara Reporters that the medium is only dragging itself to disrepute with the fakes it vomits of people without adequate proofs.
For the avoidance of doubts, here are a few things Sahara Reporters should know and report back to those sending it on a wild goose chase:
- The party held at the Assembly premises of the Lagos State Assembly and it was two-in-one, a combination of the Outreach programme and the normal Christmas party.
- The First Lady of Lagos, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu was at the event.
- As usual, there were clergymen at the event where a sermon was preached by notable man of God and General Overseer of Christ Living Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Pastor Wole Oladiyun.
- His Royal Highness, Babatunde Ogunlaja, senior female politician, Chief Kemi Nelson, party chiefs and local government chairmen were there.
- It is worthy of note that the children also held their party, which is the norm, at a different part of the Assembly premises on the same day.
- There are photographs and videos evidences to back up this explanation and pooh-pooh the hatchet job reeking of mischief carried out by Sahara Reporters.
On the claimed N53.7 million approved by the Speaker to take an imaginary mistress to the United States, Sahara Reporters again goofed because it failed to acknowledge that the travel was officially for Speaker Obasa, members of the House and some staff.
- The event was even an opportunity to recognise and honour deserving staff who had excelled in the course of their careers.
Again, here are the facts Sahara Reporters either deliberately and maliciously shielded or was blind to:
- The event was to Georgia, United States, for the 2019 US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Global Summit which was billed to hold between 26th and 28th September 2019. As is customary, the Speaker went for the event on a different flight from the lawmakers and others.
- However, on getting to the US, the summit was discovered to have clashed with a United Nations event which took pre-eminence on Nigerian officials. Thus, the Speaker, lawmakers and staff returned ahead of an anticipated new date for the event.
- All those who attended the event still have evidences of their flight tickets and hotel reservations.
For the avoidance of doubt again, those who went for the event include:
- Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa
- Hon. Jimi Mohammed
- Hon. Saka Nurudeen Solaja
- Hon. Tunde Braimoh
- Folashade Latona
- Nike Ajibosin being in charge of protocol.
With the facts now laid bare again, one would wonder why Sahara Reporters remain bent on further soiling its drowning image in the eyes of reasonable Nigerians. It is also obvious that its co-travellers are do not just aim at Speaker Obasa, a lawmaker per-excellence, but are also, subconsciously, bringing down whatever remains of Sahara Reporter as a tool for blackmail.
It is glaring beyond reasonable doubt that the primary goal is to churn out anything and everything damaging irrespective of whether they are true or not as long as the Speaker's soaring political political profile is dented ahead of 2023. It is no longer news that Obasa has become a household name in major parts of Lagos, nay Nigeria, and this is sending strong shivers down the spine of the enemies. There is not just palpable fear, but sleepless nights, which is just starting.