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08.05.2024 Featured First News Apologises to Gbajabiamila Over Story That Landed Editor in Underground Cell

Published 8th May, 2024

By Opeyemi Lawal

The management of First News online newspaper has apologised to Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Bola Tinubu, over the $30 billion story written by its editor Segun Olatunji.

Published on the platform’s website on Wednesday, the apology conceded that the report “contained falsehood and fabricated information from a misleading source”.

First News’ management said they were tendering an unreserved apology to Gbajabiamila and that they would publish a retraction of the said story.

Olatunji was abducted by a horde of soldiers from his home in Lagos on March 15 and treated like a common criminal. Olatunji’s disappearance and detention went viral.

On his return, FIJ published an interview with him in which he said his ordeal was due to his story on how Gbajabiamila reportedly attempted to corner the sum of $30 billion and 66 landed properties traced by Jim Obazee, President Bola Tinubu’s special investigator, to one Tunde Sabiu Yusuf, a former aide to the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari.

To provide further context, FIJ subsequently republished the story that fetched Olatunji such monumental abuse of his human rights.

In a similar vein, FIJ is republishing First News’ apology to Gbajabiamila.

Earlier on April 30, some blogs had claimed Olatunji retracted his story and issued an apology to Gbajabiamila. However, he denied it, saying he was standing by his report.

READ ALSO : ‘I Didn’t Apologise’ — FirstNews Editor Stands by Story Linking Gbajabiamila to Corruption

THE FIRST NEWS APOLOGY IN FULL

The Management of First News online newspaper, has tendered an unreserved apology to the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, over a news story published on its platform on January 29, 2024.

The story written by the Editor, Mr Segun Olatunji, was entitled, “How Gbajabiamila attempted to corner $30bn, 66 houses traced to Sabiu.”

The First News Management, in a statement on Wednesday, said it had discovered the said story contained “falsehoods and fabricated stories handed out to us as facts by a misleading source which was highly negligent on our part and for which we deeply tender an unreserved apology to the Chief of Staff to the President.”

The story written by the Editor, Mr Segun Olatunji, was entitled, “How Gbajabiamila attempted to corner $30bn, 66 houses traced to Sabiu.”

The First News Management, in a statement on Wednesday, said it had discovered the said story contained “falsehoods and fabricated stories handed out to us as facts by a misleading source which was highly negligent on our part and for which we deeply tender an unreserved apology to the Chief of Staff to the President.”

The statement further read, “As a responsible media organisation, we wish to state very categorically that we have no malicious intent towards the person of the Chief of Staff to the President or his office. Hence, our decision to tender an unreserved apology and the need to publish a retraction of the said story.”

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Published 8th May, 2024

By Opeyemi Lawal

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