The Minister of Finance and Co-coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has debunked an online report that she influenced the sack of an Editor with Thisday newspaper.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Special Adviser to the Minister, Paul Nwabuikwu, said the report that the Editor, Laurence Ani, was sent on compulsory leave as a result of the Minister’s action was “a total fabrication”.
He insisted that his Principal did not engage in conversation with the Publisher of Thisday, Nduka Obaigbena, saying the report was a calculated campaign of falsehood against the Finance Minister.
The statement reads in part, “The report claimed that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala called the Publisher of THISDAY Newspapers, Mr Nduka Obaigbena last Saturday to demand the sack of the Saturday Editor of the paper, Mr Laurence Ani over a story she was allegedly unhappy about.
“It further alleged that as a result of the action, the editor was asked to go on compulsory leave.
“The story is a total fabrication. The alleged conversation did not take place. In fact the minister was on a flight on her way back from the United States on the day in question. In other words, the details of the story do not exist outside the warped imagination of Saharareporters.
“The Publisher of THISDAY has indicated his willingness to confirm that she did not at any time reach out to him on any such issue or make any such demands as alleged.
This story is the latest salvo in a campaign of falsehood which Saharareporters has waged against the Coordinating Minister on behalf of its pay masters.
“We are certain that the campaign will fail because it is founded on falsehood and Nigerians can see through the antics of this disreputable medium”.