A correspondent of the PUNCH newspapers in Osun State, Mr. Femi Makinde, is in for interrogation by the Election Petitions Tribunal in the state over a report he wrote and published by his newspaper which the tribunal considers to be false.
The correspondent had reported in his paper on Friday, 12th December, 2014 that there was over-voting in Unit 6 Ward 4 of Oriade Local Government Area of the state during the last governorship election in which the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was declared the winner.
The report said to have been published on page 10 of the Friday, 12th December, 2014 edition of the paper was said to have angered the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime.
The attention of the chairman of the tribunal was called to the alleged false report by counsel to Aregbesola, Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, to the publication, “Omisore establishes over-voting in Oriade Local Government” on page 10 of the Punch Newspapers which, according to Olujinmi did not represent what happened at the tribunal the previous day.
Olujinmi, “I want to bring to the notice of this Honourable Tribunal, a false publication in the Punch where it was alleged that Omisore established over-voting in Oriade Local Government. My Lord will recall that at the inception of this tribunal, your Lordship admonished members of the press on the need for true reportage of proceedings in this court. We were therefore shocked to read this blatant falsehood in today’s Punch Newspapers as it does not represent what happened yesterday in court.”
It was after Olujinmi’s complaint that the chairman demanded for the correspondent of the PUNCH who wrote the story but he was however nowhere to be found in the Tribunal.
The Chairman of the Tribunal thereafter demanded for his presence at the Tribunal to explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against him for his alleged false report on the proceedings of the Tribunal.