The distrust between the nation’s populace and the Nigerian government runs so deep that people are willing to swallow up any information casting government officials in a negative light; verified or not.
This was the case on Wednesday when rumours alleging that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, received over N4 billion naira from the alleged sum embezzled by the embattled Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, hit social media
The lead up to the hearsay began on Monday following reports that Magu, had been reportedly arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) over accusations of fraud. Although the EFCC and DSS refuted the reports, claiming rather that Magu had honoured a panel invitation; whose invitation he was not forced to accept, there appears to new layers to the drama daily, including a widely reported suspension of the EFCC boss that the Presidency or EFCC is yet to refute.
MAGU HONOURS PANEL INVITATION pic.twitter.com/ufuXtG62vY
— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) July 6, 2020
Rumours on social media originating from a certain Jackson Ude, alleged that Magu had during investigation confessed to have given Vice President, Osinbajo N4billion out of an alleged N39 billion of recovered loot, on the day President Buhari embarked on a medical trip to the United Kingdom.
Vice President Osinbajo collected N4billion from Ibrahim Magu the very day President Buhari left Nigeria to UK on his last medical trip. This is part of the confessions made by Magu. More revelations coming! pic.twitter.com/39ouYbW8ca
— Jackson Ude (@jacksonpbn) July 7, 2020
While some speculated that Osinbajo was a “fraudulent pastor,” many Nigerians asserted that it was an attempt to taint the Vice President’s image. For some, the Vice President is a credible choice for the 2023 presidential election and that the allegations were geared at tarnishing his image.
The more they tried to taint Osinbajo's image,the more they ended up disgracing themselves. The very great personality everyone (both the ruling part and the opposition) sees as a threat to their 2023 ambition even when he hasn't disclose any interest to contest.
— EnGr PaThFiNdEr (@Ola_Pathfinder) July 8, 2020
Another lies from Jackson Ude @jacksonpbn the guy has nothing to offer but fake News.
Osinbajo take his integrity very serious and will never engage himself with dirty stuff like you.
Jackson Ude the lying machine of PDP… https://t.co/jt1TuHO4fz
— Mal. Taury Cln🗯 (@Ismailtaury) July 8, 2020
Setting the records straight, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, via a statement on his Twitter handle, described the rumours as “false and baseless fabrications.”
“With all emphasis at our disposal, let it be firmly stated that these are false and baseless fabrications purporting to reflect goings-on at the probe panel investigating Mr Ibrahim Magu. They are indeed completely absurd in every respect,” the statement read.
He equally added that this was an attempt to tarnish his image..
Inundated by wide circulation of Fake News about VP's purported involvement in some EFCC recovery billions, pls rest assured they're all LIES: calculated to confuse and concocted to smear Prof. Osinbajo's image. The VP has'nt & will never be involved in any such shady activities pic.twitter.com/bGHyFzHSm6
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) July 8, 2020
Nigerians in reaction to the Vice President’s response have suggested that he presses charges against the instigator of the rumour for spreading such “damaging lies about his person.” Some also questioned the credibility of the said Jackson Ude, who appeared to have started the rumours.
@ProfOsinbajo should sue you for defamation and ask for N4bn as damages. You did same to @NOIweala Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, she sued and won in court, I guess she didn't claim the damages she was awarded in that judgement that is why you can go on to defame the VP who is a SAN.
— Wale III (@waleola101) July 8, 2020
His name is not Jackson Ude, His name is Jackson Ole. He is one of the father of lies for @OfficialPDPNig. He uses Point Blank News to promote his lies. Now he has created another lie against Osinbajo. Believe me, Osinbajo's name can't be tarnished.
Below are some of Ude's lies. pic.twitter.com/W3J3sNrMSM
— Adebola Babatunde (@Adebolababatun) July 8, 2020
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks