Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Publisher of the Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, has said that his medium would meet the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun in court if she chooses to go to court on the story that she allegedly forged her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exception certificate.
He insisted that the investigation the news medium conducted evidently showed that the exemption certificate Adeosun parades was forged.
Olorunyomi stated this while responding to a question from a member of the audience after he delivered a lecture entitled: â€˜Independent Journalism at the Interface of the Digital Transitionâ€™ at the University of Ilorin yesterday.
He delivered lecture at the ninth annual lecture organised by the Department of Mass Communication of the university in memory of Mr Doyin Mahmoud, the pioneer Head of the Department who died in 2009.
Mahmoud, a respected media executive, was a former Managing Director of the Independent Newspaper Limited, the publisher of Daily Independent.
Olorunyomi said Premium Times carried out a thorough investigation before publishing the story, adding that the organisation would encourage Adeosun to go to court because that would be the best way she could prove the story if she believes it is not true.
â€œAdeosun forged her exception certificate. The story is real. We did a water-tight investigation that took us three months before we came out with the story. We encourage her to go to court if she will like to prove us wrong,â€ he state.
Responding to another question on the anti-corruption war, the veteran journalist advised the government to strengthen all the agencies responsible for the campaign against corruption and encourage all stakeholders to be part of the campaign to make it more successful.
Olorunyomi, while delivering his lecture, pointed out importance of independent media to democracy, saying, â€œyou really canâ€™t have a healthy democracy without independent media.â€
The journalist who noted that there is increasing financial crisis occasioned by such factors as drastic drop in circulation of newspapers, dwindling patronage in advertisement militating against independent journalism, advised that stakeholders must be proactive in addressing the problem to ensure independent media is maintained.
He described Mahmoud under whom he said he worked, as a great and knowledgeable journalist whom he said was always thirsty of ideas and knowledge and after improvement of individual journalists and the institution of journalism.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, said the legacies of Mahmoud were being celebrated by the Mass Communication Department and advised that people should do good to leave good legacies behind.