Former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, on Friday said online publications have come to stay globally, just as he called on the publishers to be mindful of the progress of the country in their reportage.
Mr Osoba was speaking as the chairman at the second annual conference of Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) at Sheraton Hotels, Lagos.
He said the theme of the conference,’Online Publishers Role Towards A Sustainanble Economy, Credible Election and Security in Nigeria’, was timely in view of preparations for the 2019 general elections.
Mr Osoba, who is a former journalist, said with online journalism, what was seen as the future has become the present, noting that at the touch of a laptop or tablet keyboard, information now travels across geographical space and time zones.
“What was deemed impossible has become real. The world is only a click away. Since your parley touches on the media, the economy and security, you have chosen a topical subject that deserves serious consideration at a very important period in our national life,” he stated.
The former governor said he was delighted that the association, a new development in the media, is waxing stronger as an important player in the industry, adding however, that the development is “both exhilarating and bewildering.
“It is positive as it opens the world to greater exploration. It could also be negative as the ease and race to share information is open to great abuse if met with lack of sufficient care and diligence. It is this abuse manifested in the shape of fake news, unverified information and the inclination for mischief and blackmail by some bloggers that threatens the integrity of the online medium.
“It is a global concern that you need to continuously look into. How can we reduce the proclivity for this errant behaviour? How much training and retraining can you put together for your members and other online practitioners to ensure we do not allow the menace to grow?”
Mr Osoba said he was aware that the association is made up of responsible journalists, “but all it takes for your reputation to be sullied is a handful of the deviant people, who have other objectives for their presence in the public sphere.”
He said he would be looking forward to the outcome of the deliberations, noting that when the subjects of discourse touch the economy, credible elections and security of the country, there is no doubt that there is a lot to chew upon.
“Precipitate publications on the economy without appropriate contextual analysis are not the forte of responsible journalism. Naked partisanship that downplays the views and positions of some candidates so as to promote our biases is not the way to build credibility for our news organisations or the electoral process’.
Mr Osoba stressed that the “media have a major role to play as impartial arbiters who should present the issues, the candidates and their positions on these issues in a way that helps the public to make sense out of the contending views.
“It is good to get the news first but it is certainly better to get it right. Your association should drum this point into the hearing of your members for if there is a medium that has the greatest potential to stoke conflict through precipitate and unverified information, it is the online media’
“In a country with still a large population of the uneducated, we must be careful not to unwittingly stoke violent conflicts, stunt economic development and imperil the future of our people.”
OAU Professor Allegedly Involved In Sex-For-Marks Scandal To Be Arraigned By ICPC
Mr Akindele was accused of demanding sex from one of his students, Ms. Monica Osagie, in order to upgrade her academic result.
In a statement by the spokesman of the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa,Professor Akindele will be docked on Monday 19th November 2018, on a 3-count charge having been accused of using his position as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting to demand for sexual benefit from a student and fraudulently upgrade her result in Research Method course which she supposedly failed in 2017.
The Commission says that his actions were contrary to Sections 8 (1) (a) (ii), and 18 (d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and are punishable under the same sections.
One of the counts reads, “That you, professor Akindele, on or about the 16th day of September, 2017 at Ile-Ife did corruptly ask for sexual benefits for yourself from Ms. Monica Osagie on account of favour to be afterwards shown to her by you in the discharge of your official duties as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University, to wit; altering her academic grades in the course with code MBA 632- Research Method from fail to pass; and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
The 57-year-old professor has asked for plea-bargain having admitted guilt. He also cited ill-health as a factor that may make him unable to stand the rigours of prison life, notifying the Commission through his lawyer, Omotayo Alade-Fawole.
He pleaded that his prayers for plea-bargain be considered, more so as he was already serving punishment for his offence having been sacked by the university.
Ms. Osagie had earlier expressed a lack of confidence in the capacity of ICPC to give her a fair hearing.
According to the commission, the public announcement of the professors impending arraignment is in fulfillment of its promise to the public to avail them of the outcome of the investigation in due time.
Traditional Ruler Arrested Over Alleged N15.5m Fraud
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement made available to TribuneOnline, said the arrest of the traditional ruler followed a petition written by the management of a real estate firm against the traditional ruler.
DSP Oyeyemi said the company approached the traditional ruler for the purchase of about 23 acres of land in his domain, which was negotiated for N15.5 million, and the company paid the amount to the suspect after showing them the land.
“Surprisingly, some months after the payment was made, the traditional ruler started selling the same portion of land to another set of people, and before the company knew what was going on, he had sold 17 acres out of the 23 acres.
“As a result of the petition, the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, directed the officer in charge Public Complaints Bureau to look into the case and bring the suspect to book.
“The traditional ruler was subsequently arrested, and on interrogation, he admitted collecting the said amount of money from the complainant after showing them the land.
“He stated further that it was when he needed some money for his coronation that he was tempted to sell parts of the already sold land,” DSP Oyeyemi stated.
The police spokesperson said CP Iliyasu had ordered a thorough investigation into the case, and that the suspect would be arraigned in court in accordance with the anti-land grabbing laws of Ogun State.
Court orders forfeiture of N300m bonds over Kanu’s absence
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the interim forfeiture of the N300 million bail bonds by sureties to Nnamdi Kanu following their failure to produce him in court on Tuesday.
Justice Binta Nyako ordered that the money be deposited in the court’s bank account and not the Federal Givernment’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) before the next adjourned date on March 28, 2019.
The judge ruled that the sureties: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish priest, Immanuel Shalom, and an Abuja-based accountant, Tochukwu Uchendu, would be given six months to argue their applications challenging the forfeiture.
However, the co-accused to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, and Chidiebere Onwudiwe were present as their trial on three count-charges bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and setting up illegal broadcast stations, continued.
Earlier, prosecution counsel Suleiman Labaran asked the court to order the sureties to show cause why the N100m bail bond for each of the them should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
But counsel to Abaribe, Chukwu Machukwu-Ume (SAN) said the lawmaker went on an oversight function with the Senate Committee on Niger Delta.
Justice Binta Nyako threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Abaribe and Uchendu, who was said to be ill. Shalom was present in court.
The sureties had filed separate applications asking the court to stop their suretyship on the ground that they can no longer perform that responsibility because of some supervening and exceptional circumstances.
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