A Nigerian journalist based in Dubai, Ahmad Salkida, has threatened to sue Thisday Newspapers for defamation over an article published by the media organization on May 27, 2014.
The article titled ‘’Names of FG Negotiators to Free Chibok Girls Revealed” has been described by Salkida as highly presumptuous and offensive and he has demanded a retraction and public apologies from the newspapers within 14 days or pay the sum N500, 000, 000 as heightened damages caused to his integrity.
Salkida through his lawyers, Abdul Mahmud law firm, issued a press statement accusing THISDAY newspapers of saying in the report that he was sacked by Daily Trust and BluePrint newspapers for his alleged closeness to the Boko Haram terrorists group thereby compromising his professional standard in handling reports that had to do with the dreaded group.
The statement said the publication was made without contacting Salkida to hear his own side and to verify the claim that he was sacked as the ethics of journalism demand, adding that the claim has portrayed Salkida as an unprofessional, greedy and corrupt journalist who is merely interested in financial gains.
It further accused the media outfit of saying that the demands for cash stimulated doubts that the negotiators were only interested in the financial gains they could make during negotiations, consequently emphasizing the suspicion that they may not have any relationship with Shekau, the leader of the sect as they claimed.
“Since the publication of your offensive report, our client has been inundated with calls and text messages from friends and colleagues in the local and international media; and in many instances, he has been shunned by his professional colleagues on account of your malicious publication. Thus, the ridicule, hatred and contempt you have exposed our client to are unfathomable and the injury you have inflicted incalculable,” the statement noted..
The journalist, however, threatened that unless Thisday newspapers agree to the demands he made within 14 days of receipt of the letter sent to it editor, he would take a court order against the media outfit.
It would be recalled that on May 27, 2014, Thisday reported that the federal government had sought the help of three independent negotiators to assist with the release of the Chibok girls in a prisoner-for-girls swap deal.
Salkida was named as one of them.