Lai Mohammed should be prosecuted for spreading fake news about Peter Obi — Edwin Clark
Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader and convener of the
Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), says Lai Mohammed, minister of information and
culture, should be prosecuted for spreading fake news against Peter Obi,
presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).
On April 4, speaking in Washington DC during an engagement
with some international media organisations, Mohammed warned Obi and Datti
Baba-Ahmed, his running mate, against inciting violence over the outcome of the
Baba-Ahmed had said in an interview with Channels Television
that Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, did not meet the constitutional
requirements to become Nigeria’s president.
He said Tinubu failed to fulfill the requirements stipulated
for election to the office of the president and asked the chief justice of
Nigeria (CJN) not to swear him in as president.
His statement received backlash from prominent Nigerians,
including Wole Soyinka, the Nobel laureate, but Mohammed took the criticism of
the remark to an international level.
Reacting to this in a statement on Monday, Clark said the
minister of information misused the office to commit an illegitimate act.
He called on the attorney general of the nation to
“undertake thorough investigation of the activities” of Mohammed and charge him
to court for constituting himself as “mastermind and disseminator of fake
Clark added that the discovery of a plot of an interim
government aimed at overthrowing the federal government was malicious and
“Like I said, Lai Mohammed did not base his information on
any credible intelligence report from the state agencies, but on propaganda and
falsity. Therefore, I am of the opinion that he should be charged for spreading
unhealthy information and fake news against an innocent Nigerian who is very
prominent and has proven his worth in the country. Lai Mohammed used the
exalted position of the office of the nation’s ministry of information to
commit this perfidy,” he said.
“As Lai Mohammed knows well, most Nigerians today are very
keen observers of what is going on in the country. We have also continued to
watch and closely watch actions, inactions, and utterances by the key political
actors and their close associates. It is therefore totally unacceptable that a
minister in charge of a sensitive government department as dissemination of
information should constitute himself to become the purveyor of false
information, innuendos, and even fake news.
“It is clear therefore that the minister of information has
constituted himself to become the mastermind and disseminator of fake news.
This leaves us with no option than to call on the attorney general of the
nation to undertake thorough investigation of the activities of the minister
and charge him to court.
“It is criminal,
unpatriotic, and wicked for anyone to draw the name of Peter Obi who fully
participated in the 2023 presidential election and who has gone to court to
express his dissatisfaction with the outcome of the presidential election and
his popularity which has spread to all part of the country as a wildfire has no
doubt caused a great embarrassment to the federal government.
“What is being alleged as a discovery of a plot to overthrow
the federal government by DSS is malicious and untrue.”
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