Omoba, please note this interesting comment by one Tony Elumelu on a naija forum:
I am surprised that anyone could take that non-story, an arrant nonsense from PUNCH, seriously.
Of course I do not think Chief James Ibori’s office should join issues with The PUNCH as the matter is for the EFCC to re-act to if it wishes. Yet, I feel inclined towards embracing this opportunity to point out that PUNCH has abandoned true journalism in this matter and has embraced terrorism in its attempt to smear the Chief James Ibori name. The story is based on nothing but “an EFCC source”. Did the PUNCH see any document? Could one have even been produced? And to what end?
Two, it would be surprising if everyone in PUNCH, including the Reporter, his Desk Head, News Editor and even the Editor, never knew that the right place to cross-check that nonstory would rightly be the Federal High Court Headquarters. This is because the Kaduna Court of Appeal ordered that the case be returned to the Federal High Court for retrial in a place near Asaba …according to the dictates of free and fair jurisprudence. Also, that same ruling faulted the manner in which Ribadu “forum-shopped” for the Kaduna court and Justice Shuaibu. (That was a landmark judgement that not even PUNCH has seen fit to analyse). That order was expressly made to the Federal High Court and not to EFCC. And that this escaped everyone in PUNCH shows the disaster some people want to turn Nigerian Journalism into in their bid to tar Chief Ibori’s name.
The right questions would have been this: Has the Ibori/EFCC case been reassigned? If so, where would it hold and when would it start? And if not, why not? And only the Federal High Court could answer them, not EFCC or the Attorney-General’ s office. And if PUNCH did not know this, then it has no business being a newspaper.
This publication is just an attempt to give Prof. Soyinka’s, Falana’s and Ribadu’s meeting in London a reason for existence. So this is crass politics; PUNCH is now an adept at this sort of shameful abusage of journalism. It has taken a high seat in the court of anti-Ibori forces; but that it has allowed this position re-enforced by its Chairman’s friendship with Obasanjo’s former Chief of Staff, Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed (rtd) ( as well as business interests too, that I do not want to go into now or we would lose focus and be bogged down by OIL LIFTING businesses that some of those concerned have even reacted to) to affect the way it reports news, shows the level to which some aspects of our values have been debased..
PUNCH and papers like PUNCH once reported “authoritatively” that the crashed WINGS AVIATION plane was spirited out of Nigeria by Ibori. Later, the aircraft’s wreckage was discovered. Yet, PUNCH and papers like PUNCH failed to apologize.
Several papers like PUNCH also reported that an Abuja collapsed shipping mall (it was still under construction) belonged to Ibori. Yet, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministry report proved that to be a lie as the building belonged to a retired POLICE OFFICER TURNED POLITICIAN (from Delta state) – and who remains opposed to Ibori and so would not have been fronting for him – has laid that too to rest.
And now out from nowhere but PUNCH’s imagination has come this – just to give the Soyinka, Ribadu and Falana meeting in London a semblance of substance. This is sad and condemnable. Nigeria deserves better journalism than this.