The Government of Osun State has described as false, the report in some newspapers that the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, granted an order compelling the state governor to provide information about the debt profile of the State.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti, the government charged journalists to always cross-check facts before going to the press.
Adeoti held that the fact that newspapers could go to press with such misleading information leaves much to be desired, saying,
“It depicts the abysmal level into which journalism has sunk.
The Order of Court granted the applicant is the right to put the other party on notice, in this instance, the Governor of the State of Osun and not an order granting the substantive reliefs of the Applicant.”
The statement said the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola is a respecter of the judiciary and would not do anything to undermine the judicial process in any way.
The SSG stressed that a little due diligence by journalists would have revealed that the process leading to the report was made “ex-parte”, which means that the other party needs not be put on notice before such application for leave is heard by the court.
He stated that a simple inquiry on the proceeding from the Clerk of the Court would have made this fact known to the reporters who rushed to the press without adequate understanding.
“The captioned news item in several newspapers on Thursday, 16 June, 2016 … is patently false.
While we are not surprised by this type of unprofessional Journalism because so many self-styled journalists have taken over the entire media space, what we are particularly miffed about is that some reputable media outfits could publish a story of this nature without getting their facts right.”
Adeoti said the entire scenario is the making of the opposition party.
“The applicant in the case is a well-known member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Ikeji Arakeji, who served in the last PDP administration in the state.
The government maintained that the journalists in question were acting in cahoots with some unscrupulous individuals to malign the person of Aregbesola and by extension the government.
The statement called on the management of the affected newspapers to call the journalists in question to order to avoid frequent retraction of stories.