I came back from Sunday service and opened my facebook account. And the moment it opened, it was obvious that something was amiss. First, I noticed that I had over 10 unattended friend’s request. And while I was still scrolling through to see the names I knew, more friend’s requests kept coming in. At that moment, I froze. “Either facebook has gone wild or something extreme has happened,”I reasoned. All the same, I decided not to accept any request as at then.
Few minutes later, I had a message from a friend based in the Uk. He told me that my name and pictures were all over the internet as the INEC staff that testified at the Rivers State governorship election tribunal sitting in Abuja. He cautioned me tobe careful. I simply told him that I was not the one. I left it at that; I never thought too much of it.
But then, I looked at my notification bar, and noticed that most of my earlier posts were being shared massively by other people. And then, I saw the Scan News article giving graphic details of how I had been planted in the INEC by former governor, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, how I am a card-carrying member of the APC, and how I was paid to do a hatchet job. The preponderance of comments that attended this “news” alarmed me. The worse was that in order to lend conviction to their claims, Scan News copied my pictures, my comments or posts that supported the APC. And…they went to the extent of displaying my wedding picture in which I was cutting cake withmy wife.
For me, they have crossed the line at this point! I have always known Scan News to be peddlers of falsehood; but this sort of news which can put one and one’s family in the line of danger should have been investigated properly before publication. What,on earth, can call for more circumspection!
My facebook account which they scavenged has my phone numbers, and Scan News did not think it proper to call me in furtherance of their investigation. Scan News could not even leave a message to demand explanations from me. This is curious. I have been wondering whether this is premeditated or just mere coincidence. But whichever it is, Scan News has only succeeded in putting me and my family in the line of danger.
To put the records straight:
(1) I have no connection whatsoever with the INEC staff, Charles Okoye, who testified at the tribunal; I have not been in Abuja in the last one year.
(2) I have never worked with INEC in any capacity. The Charles Okoye, who is INEC staff, is well known to INEC, and his identity was never a mystery in the first place or subject of conjecture. The tribunal wasopen to the public; at least journalists covered the proceedings, and I can never imagine that the Charles Okoye gave his evidence in veils.
(3) I have never expressed any opinion whatsoever in relation to the tribunal. I have remained disinterested since the conclusion of the elections.
(4) As could be seen from my old posts, which Scan News shared, in their attempt to buttress their points, I did support the APC, mostly as a Nigerian who truly believed that there was need for a positivechange, and that was all. I have not met Hon. Rotimi Amaechi or Hon. Dakuku Peterside before. I have never even met any of their lieutenants.
(5) I bear “Charles Kaye Okoye” to distinguish my identity since there are over one thousand other Charles Okoyes all over the world. And it is so sad that rather than write about “Charles Okoye” Scan News chose to maliciously substitute “Charles Okoye” with “Charles Kaye Okoye”, just to score cheap points.
(6) Meanwhile, I have reached my lawyer for further advice on what to do over this act of irresponsibility by Scan News and their cohorts.
It is most disheartening coming from an outfit that lays claim to “disseminating well researched credible news stories and features aimed at setting the agenda for development of our nation.” And which claims to “strive to allow all sides air their views without destroying the foundation for peace, justice and fair play.”There is no gainsaying that I have not been myself for obvious reasons, since this news broke. I have been receiving calls from all over the world; some palatable, and some, not so palatable.
Iam in shock that online media such asscannewsnigeria.com ,and nigeria.shafaqna.co, have gone to town with this claim,http://scannewsnigeria.com/news/revealed-charles-kaye-okoye-who-was-paraded-as-inec-staff-is-a-card-carrying-apc-member/splashing my pictures and those of my wife online. And this is spreading like a wild fire. They did not stop there; every available detail about me is now public.
Charles Kaye Okoye