Former works and housing minister Babatunde Fashola, has petitioned the inspector-general of police to investigate Twitter users and Reportera.ng over “defamatory” social media posts.
Two days ago, Jackson Ude and some Twitter users had alleged that Fashola and some lawyers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were writing a favourable judgment for the presidential election petition tribunal to be handed over to the judges.
The former minister in his reaction, described the allegation as “baseless and defamatory”, saying those responsible for the posts are “agents of destabilisation”.
Fashola’s lawyer, Olanrewaju Akinsola, in a petition addressed to the IGP, the former minister said the allegation was peddled by Ude, Yoruba Sheikh, and Reportera.NG, using the microblogging platform, Twitter.
He added that the claim has “excessively breached the decent fundamentals of public enlightenment”, adding that the allegation amounts to “character assassination”.
“It is the position of our client that the publications by the said Jackson Ude, @yorubasheik, and @ReporteraNew are false in their entirety and have excessively breached the decent fundamentals of public enlightenment that freedom of the press is constitutionally about,” the petition reads.
“It is our client’s position that the totality of the three publications amount to nothing less than character assassination with a calculated view to achieving damaging effects against him in his profession as a legal practitioner.
“Having regard to the importance of judicial independence in general and the sensitivity of the judicial proceeding of the presidential election petition court in particular, it is the position of our Client that the publications by the said Jackson Ude, @yorubasheik, and @ReporteraNew are false.
“The allegations are made for the purpose of causing inconvenience, danger, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred and needless anxiety to our Client, contrary to the provisions of section 24 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act 2015.
“In the light of the foregoing, we hereby request your office to cause the publications to be investigated with utmost urgency and seriousness as they have implications not only for the person of our client but for the independence, impartiality, and integrity of the Nigerian judiciary which is guaranteed by Section 17 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.”