Abasiama Umoh

Recently, a group known as FRIENDS OF EMMANUEL ENOIDEM WORLD WIDE, has thrown their weight behind the lawsuit filed by their Principal, the National Legal Adviser, Peoples Democratic Party, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, against Global Accord News Paper. The group which described as libelous, defamatory and character assassination, the publication on Global Accord News Paper linking their Principal with an alleged murder, said that the lawsuit filed against the Publisher of the aforementioned Akwa Ibom based local tabloid, has been satisfactory, as it would serve as a deterrent to other publishers with ulterior intentions to serially insult, malign, blackmail and paint credible elders in bad light.

The group noted that, Journalism should be practiced in the best interest of the citizenry, and should not be used as a ready weaponry for war, an instrument of vituperation and a tool to unleash mayhem targeted at soiling the hard earned reputations of well meaning individuals in the society, their principal inclusive.

It could be recalled that, Global Accord News Paper published a libelous story on the front page of their Monday 30th – Thursday 3rd October, 2019, edition with the piercing headline ” Horror! Enoidem in Murder Scandal – as village head calls for investigation”. Worried about the extent of intended damage on the brand, Emmanuel Enoidem, the group dismissed the story as hatred taken too far, defamation reeled overboard and cruelty of the highest order on their very revered Principal, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, insisting that the publisher must face legal actions.

Again, the group described such story as a ploy to cohesively, manipulatively and fraudulently collect money from people, an act laced with criminality. They declared as highly commendable the steps taken by Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, to institute a lawsuit against the publisher of Global Accord, as it would serve as a deterrent and as well put a stop to the avoidable episode of local tabloid publishers cooking up propaganda, falsehood and degrading feature stories against highly placed and very respectable persons in the society. The group further urged NUJ to stand their ground in getting rid of bad eggs amongst them, to enable them uphold the ethics and ethos of journalism practice.

In a similar reaction, the Board Member, Akwa Ibom Road and other Infrastructural Maintenance Agency, AKROIMA, Hon. Uduot Jack, explained that such malicious and libelous act should not be allowed to go unpunished, the publisher must be made to face the lawful consequences of such vicious engagement. Adding that, if these excesses are not checked amongst publishers in the mould of Global Accord, they would use their publications to smear hard earned reputations of worthy individuals in the society, without recourse to the trauma and damage meted on such individuals. While calling for a retraction of the story by the Publisher of Global Accord, he urged the leadership of NUJ to intensify efforts in ridding off elements that are bent on relegating journalism practice to the precipice.

In the same vein, the Member Representing Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, has reacted to the said publication, describing the story as a figment of the author’s imagination and a tale in the moonlight deserving of redress in a competent court of law. He said that the publisher of the said News Paper must be made to face the full weight of the law and the consequences thereto, for throwing caution in the air by incessantly blackmailing people of proven integrity, people who have selflessly contributed in an immeasurable degree towards building a better Akwa Ibom for us all – the like of Barr. Enoidem, saying that, “the National Legal Adviser is a man who has served Akwa Ibom State meritoriously in varying capacities, hence should be accorded due regards and respect”.

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