My attention has been drawn to an article with the above-mentioned title which you posted on your blog on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
In the said article, there was a clear factual inaccuracy when the writer wrote as follows:
“Adesina is on the hot seat facing same public mess as Festus Keyamo who had to work as a junior minister under Godswill Akpabio, the same ex-governor he led the EFCC prosecutions against earlier when he used to pretend as an activist lawyer.”
Nothing can be farther from the truth. I decided to keep a dignified silence in the first few weeks after my assumption of office as Minister of State, Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs last year when some mischievous and/or ill-informed individuals kept spreading the narrative in the social media that I once prosecuted Senator Godswill Akpabio on behalf for the EFCC.
I kept mute because I do not always bother myself to respond to all factually inaccurate issues concerning me that are raised from sources that are not credible news outlets. If I do, I would always be distracted from my work as a public officer.
It was only when The Guardian newspaper later swallowed that narrative hook, line and sinker without the slightest effort at fact-checking last year that I wrote to the newspaper correcting them. However, out of embarrassment, they decided not to make my response as prominent as the original article – a popular trick adopted by most news outlets that are too ashamed to boldly admit their errors. Now, Saharareporters has made the same mistake.
Even without searching on Google the cases I have prosecuted, a simple telephone call as a journalist/writer to the spokesperson of the EFCC would have duly informed you that at no time was I ever engaged by the EFCC to prosecute Senator Godswill Akpabio and I never did. All the stories about that have been nothing but social media nonsense.
As far as I can recollect, at no time was Senator Godswill Akpabio charged or arraigned by the EFCC in any court of law for any offence. So how come I was engaged to prosecute a non-existent Charge?
Kindly retract that portion of your article.
As for the other assertion that I used to ‘pretend as an activist lawyer’, I have chosen to ignore that as it is not fact, but opinion.
Finally, I hope you will make this correction as prominent as you made the said article.
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK)
Minister of State, Labour and Employment.