11 March 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, wants journalists to ensure they verify facts before disseminating information to the general public.
The Judge gave the advice while ruling on a case filed by the Department of State Security, DSS upon a complaint by the Kogi State Government against a Beyelsa based blogger, Saint Mienpamo Onitsha over a false publication that Kogi State spent ₦7b naira to construct a Covid-19 Isolation Centre.
He said journalists owe a duty to Nigerians to uphold the ethics of the profession.
He said that Shocked by the falsehood in the publication, the Kogi State Government reported the blogger to the DSS which arrested and charged the Blogger to Court.
Justice Awogboro said other journalists in the country should learn from the travails of the blogger and play according to the rules of the profession.
The Judge went ahead to discharge the blogger following the withdrawal of the complaint which led to the case by the complainant.
In a reaction, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information described Governor Bello as media friendly and would not want anything that may destroy the existing cordial relationship between him and the media.
“Let me first of all thank the DSS for the diligent prosecution of this case adding that From the investigation and prosecution, the DSS showed to the world that they are one of the best agencies that we have in Nigeria.
“The Governor has decided to forgive Saint Mienpamo for so many reasons. One of the reasons is that he apologized to the Governor and the people of Kogi State and he has learnt his lessons to always follow the ethics of the profession
Speaking at the premises of the court shortly after the suit was withdrawn and struck out by Justice Abimbola Awogboro, Saint Miepamo Onitsha appreciated the Kogi State Governor for playing a fatherly role and promised to confirm stories before publishing.
He also used the medium to commend the Commissioner for Information and Communications in Kogi state, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo for taking the time to come from Kogi to Yenagoa to see to the amicable end of the case.