By Samuel Ogundipe
A Channels Television broadcast showing Ibrahim Magu, the acting head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, attending a political event to strategise toward President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election was an editing mistake by one of the broadcaster’s video editors, the station’s chairman and founder, John Momoh, has told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Magu was depicted as having been a part of the consultative meeting organised by the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups at Nicon Luxury, Abuja, during the 10:00 p.m. bulletin of the Lagos-based broadcaster.
PREMIUM TIMES ran a story based on the video which ran on Wednesday night.
Also at the meeting as broadcast by Channels were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Tinubu. Mr Osinbajo represented Mr Buhari, who has been away in Europe for a climate change summit.
But following protests from Mr Magu and his associates that the anti-graft chief was not present at the event, which would have portrayed him as a partisan law enforcement agent, Mr. Momoh has now admitted to PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Magu was in fact absent at the event, but that a mix-up in visuals by an editor triggered the wrong impression.
Mr Momoh, who is currently travelling abroad, said he reached out to the reporter who filed the story, and she narrated what transpired.
She said as soon as she returned from the APC event, she handed over her recording to an editor who then erroneously added an old footage of Mr Magu, leading viewers to believe the EFCC official was present at the APC event.
Mr Momoh told PREMIUM TIMES his company would be reaching out to Mr Magu to explain the editing glitch that occured and apologise for the inconveniences the error may have caused him.
PREMIUM TIMES also reported that some persons said they saw Mr Magu at Nicon Luxury Hotel venue of the event, but a spokesperson for the anti-graft chief said this might have been earlier on Tuesday when he visited a relative who was staying at the hotel.
“The only thing he went to Nicon Luxury for was to see his relative, and he immediately left for Lagos where he met with some newspaper editors,” EFCC spokesperson, Tony Orilade, told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday afternoon. “He left for Lagos around 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday after going to Nicon Luxury to see a relative who was ill.”
Reacting to the publication Wednesday night, PREMIUM TIMES’ Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, said CHANNELS has for years been one of the most credible sources of news in our country.
“This unfortunate error teaches us that news organisations must consistently strengthen and review their gatekeeping process,” Mr. Mojeed said. “However, newsroom managers are human and errors are bound to occasionally occur no matter how careful they try to be.”