Senate President Ahmad Lawan has described as false news the $10-million-bribe report People Gazette published last week, connecting a local billionaire with interest in petroleum and the National Assembly.
And publishing fake news, he said, has consequences.
In the report which many news platforms amplified stated how the billionaire paid the sum so the National Assembly could force the bill, with all its gaping holes, through the legislative process.
Lawan allegedly collected $3 million while Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila got $2 million.
The core of the report, which the author verified confirmed using anonympoys sources in the NASS, was the fight that broke out over the sharing formula.. It stated how other lawmakers were spoiling for a fight with their leadership for cheating them.
Lawan said that is funny, but also very serious.
“I really want to take this opportunity to take exceptions to those kinds of unwarranted, false and fake reports being fed to the Nigerian public and the danger people will face with this is you cause unnecessary damage to the reputation of people,’’ he spoke to journalists after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari on August 23.
He explained how he dealt with such one purveyor of damaging news recently.
“I had an occasion to take someone to court because of this kind of thing about three months ago.”
According to him, Nigerians have freedom of expression probably more than anywhere in the world.
“But I want to caution that Nigerians should always think positive about their leaders, administration and governments.
“And if they have issues they feel very strongly about, let them speak the truth and we are prepared to take corrections, and that we feel should be able to make us do better,’’ he added.