The RENOvation of Falsehood

The RENOvation of Falsehood

KEHINDE BAMIGBETAN takes on Reno Omokri in defence of the APC presidential candidate

 

Reno Omokri hates the All Progressives Congress (APC) for aborting his dream job as a Special Assistant when it defeated President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections. That hatred also related to his colossal failure as a political consultant hired by the president from his base abroad on the grandiose claim of having superb skills in using social media to mobilise legitimacy for governments and wooing voters for his principal.

 

That the APC guillotined his professional career as a political communications guru and fried his ass has left him in trauma, the psychotic state that propels him to stay online to spew gibberish and strut the media landscape as an apostle of doom.

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Between 2015 and 2019, Omokri turned the bashing of President Muhammadu Buhari into a vocation, demarketing the leaders of the party that sent him out of Aso Villa to an obsession. Thus, when it comes to dressing his negative and destructive campaign of calumny against the APC presidential ticket as normal journalistic criticism, Reno is unable to escape the vigilant watch of many of us who are familiar with his digital prints.

 

Balloons hate pins, however small. The half-truths that Reno tried to renovate in THISDAY edition of Tuesday 26th July this year is another of Omokri’s balloons of character assassination to curry the favour of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He probably imagines that if he is able to assemble all his anarchist literature, he might secure another four year tenure in the presidency of his delusion.

 

Omokri murders truths naturally because his writings are designed to market his services to prospective and existing clients. He stays on social media to post regularly because he is afraid of losing followers and value. His content is negative because he lacks the positive, constructive patriotism that sees a country as work in progress. Thus, he habitually sets standards that the administration that he served could never contemplate.

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In this particular instance of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC and the allegation of having professional dealing with a person found to be involved in narcotics, Omokri rehashed a story that the Nigerian public has been told since it was broken by TODAY Newspapers in 2001 not because he seeks to promote public interest but to exploit the non-issue for incendiary purposes. Any professional hunting for business can innocently fall into the hands of criminal elements. This is my reading of the investigation of the Akandes that led to the discovery of their association with Tinubu and the forfeiture of his account.

 

The decision of Tinubu to prove his innocence and secure the release of the money is concrete evidence that he believed the allegation was false. The fact that he won and secured a million out of 1.4 million dollars is further proof that his claim of innocence was largely justified. It would have been a different matter if the initial total forfeiture was sustained or if only a paltry sum of the total money was released. In all these proceedings, there is no instance where he was convicted.

 

Omokri tried to use his judicial appellation to hoodwink otherwise less learned persons that forfeiture is conviction. This is blatant falsehood. A key condition for plea bargain is co-operation with investigators by sharing intelligence necessary for the prosecution of the case and circumstantial evidence that refutes willful complicity. In his efforts to blow the matter out of proportion, Reno even goes further to decorate his victim with the status of “Drug Lord”. It is on record that Tinubu, convinced of his lack of complicity, flew to the United States to fight the forfeiture and got justice. He accomplished this task and returned home to continue his activities.

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Would the US Authoritiees allow someone so described as Omokri such liberties and clearances? Certainly not.

 

Omokri is very notorious for skipping facts inconsistent with his hatchet job. When many journalists wanted to get to the bottom of this controversy in 2003, they turned the heat on the Nigeria Police to demand a status report on Tinubu by the United States of America. The ruling PDP federal administration believed it was going to be the last joker to criminalise its enfant terrible and take him off the ballot. It encouraged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun to request the American government to declare Tinubu’s status. 4th February 2003 was a sad day for President Olusegun Obasanjo and the PDP establishment.

 

Replying to the IGP, the legal attachee in the American Consulate, Michael H. Bonner wrote: “Our sincerest greetings to you and all of the law enforcement personnel in the Nigeria Police Force, whose continued assistance is very much appreciated. In relation to your letter, dated February 3, 2003, reference number SR. 3000/IGPSEC/ABJ/VOL. 24/287, regarding Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, records check of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Crime Information Centre (NCIC) was conducted. The results of the checks were negative for any criminal arrest records, wants, or warrants for Bola Ahmed Tinubu (DOB 29 March 1952). For information of your department, NCIC is a very centralised information centre that maintains the records of every criminal arrest and conviction within the United States and its territories.”

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Those of us who believe in the leadership of Asiwaju stand on this documentary evidence of his innocence to proclaim his legal fitness for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. For Reno who claims to be a Christian but wilfully murders facts to assassinate the character of a fellow citizen, we urge him to open his Holy Bible to John 8: 32: “Then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

 

Will he? Can he? Let the voters judge.

 

Bamigbetan, former Chief Press Secretary to Tinubu, writes from Lagos

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