Promoting Good Governance.

FAKE NEWS: Report alleging corruption in Imo S’Court judgment wrongfully attributed to ICIR

THE International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, has distanced itself from a fake news circulating on various WhatsApp groups, which purports that the Supreme Court judgment on the Imo governorship election was procured through judicial sleight of hand.

Written by one Deborah MacJacobson, the report is titled, How Uzodinma Purchased Imo Supreme Court Judgement: The Role of the Director-General, Department of State Services,  and was purportedly based on a story published by The ICIR on January 20.

However, the report provides no evidence in form of a link to the story on The ICIR website.

In a statement issued on Sunday evening by The ICIR and signed by its Editor, Ajibola Amzat, the Centre stated unequivocally that it never authored or published the said report, noting that it has no “facts to substantiate any of its claims.

Ajibola said that the “The ICIR did not  commission any kind of investigation on Governor Hope Uzordima or on the Supreme Court ruling on Imo state election.”

“We state that the author, Deborah MacJacobson,  is unknown to the Centre and her report never appeared on The ICIR‘s website or any of its social platforms,” he stated further.

The Editor said checks by Centre indicated that “Deborah MacJacobson” is a fictitious name, and the two email addresses accompanying the byline used on the report (easternarrownews@gmail.com and eastern_arrow_news@yahoo.com) are suspicious.

“While the Yahoo mail address is not registered with the mail service provider, the Gmail address was traced to Kansas, United States,” he noted.

The Centre also observed that the report has not been published by any website in Nigeria or abroad, except on WhatsApp, which producers of fake news often use to spread misinformation.

“The ICIR, therefore, believes the report is fake and distances itself from it” he concluded.

Find the statement below:

The attention of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, has been drawn to fake news purportedly written by one Deborah MacJacobson, published on January 20, and shared on various WhatsApp groups.

The report, titled, How Uzodinma Purchased Imo Supreme Court Judgement: The Role of the Director-General, Department of State Services,  claims that the Supreme Court judgment on the Imo governorship election was procured through judicial sleight of hands.

It also identifies The ICIR as the publisher.

We hereby state unequivocally that the Centre neither authored this report nor has facts to substantiate any of its claims.

Also, The ICIR did not commission any investigation on Governor Hope Uzordima or on the Supreme Court ruling on Imo state election.

We state that the author, Deborah MacJacobson is unknown to the Centre and her report had never appeared on The ICIR‘s website or any of its social platforms.

Checks by The ICIR indicated that “Deborah MacJacobson” is a fictitious name.

In fact, the two email addresses accompanying the byline used on the report (easternarrownews@gmail.com and eastern_arrow_news@yahoo.com) are suspects.

While the Yahoo mail address is not registered with the mail service provider, the Gmail address was traced to Kansas, United States.

The ICIR also observed that the report has not been published by any website in Nigeria or abroad.

Its circulation appears to have been restricted to WhatsApp, an instant messaging application infamous for the spread of misinformation partly because of the difficulty in tracing the original authors of broadcast messages.

The ICIR, therefore, believes the report is fake and distances itself from it.

SIGNED

AJIBOLA AMZAT

EDITOR, INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING, ABUJA

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