PEOPLES GAZETTE dares Obi, stands by its Audio conversation with Oyedepo (INSIDE STORY)

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READ ALSO:.  OBI breaks silence on Leaked Audio, pressure on him to go on exile – READ FULL TEXT

THE Management of Peoples Gazette has reacted to the threat of legal action by the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25, 2023 Presidential election, Peter Obi.


Obi vehemently denied the leaked audio conversation with the Founder of the Living Faith Ministries aka WINNERS Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo saying it was a ‘fake.’


In a Press Release signed by the Deputy Managing Editor, Boladale Adekoya said the Online Media stood by its story.



According to Adekoya, Obi was silent on why he failed to comment on the story, despite multiple efforts to reach him for comments over the two days preceding the publication.



The Gazette also reached several of Obi’s aides with the audio file and asked them to comment.

READ ALSO:.  THE Full Transcript of Leaked Audio conversation between Obi and Bishop Oyedepo (FOR THE RECORDS)



The aides, including his long-time spokesman Valentine Obienyem; close associate Mike Ifedi; and his campaign Director-General, Akin Osuntokun, all failed to comment after discussing the audio with their principal.



Bishop Oyedepo, on his part, declined to comment after an enquiry, alongside the audio, was sent to him as requested.



When Oyedepo mounted the pulpit the next day after the story was published, he did not deny that the conversation with Obi took place. Instead, he told his Sunday service audience that politicians of all parties regularly consulted him for advice on elections, which he gladly offered.



Moreover, Mr Obienyem, who served as the Chief Press Secretary when Obi was Anambra governor, confirmed the authenticity of the audio on his Facebook page on April 2.



Kenneth Okonkwo, a spokesman for Obi’s campaign, also confirmed the audio and insisted that it was genuine even in the face of relentless online vitriol from Obi’s supporters.

READ ALSO:.  DOUBLE EDGE: Urgent Open Letter to Peter Obi BY Adesoji OMOSEBI



“Honesty is the best policy,” Mr Okonkwo said while emphasising that the audio was indeed that of his principal amid vicious attacks from his fellow Labour supporters.



In a statement on Wednesday night, The Gazette promptly said it was standing by its story and flayed Obi’s attempt to intimidate its newsroom.



“Peoples Gazette stands unflinchingly by the audio recording of Peter Obi and David Oyedepo as published on April 1, 2023,” Deputy Managing Editor Boladale Adekoya said.



Adekoya added that the audio clip was sourced and properly
authenticated in advance of running it.


“The audio and the context surrounding it were properly sourced and authenticated in line with journalism best practices,” the editor said.


He further stressed that The Gazette was prepared to go to any length to protect the source of the clip, suggesting that Mr Obi initiated the lawsuit with the aim that the organisation would be compelled to reveal the source of the telephone conversation leak at trial.

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“Finally, we maintain in no uncertain terms that we will uphold the principle of source protection to any length,” Mr Adekoya said.



Mr Obi, 61, has led Labour since he resigned from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party in May 2022. His candidacy has been deemed historic for its ability to garner a large following that propelled him into the spotlight within a few months of the campaign.



Following the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the president-elect by the electoral office INEC, Mr Obi rejected the polls’ outcome and proceeded to file a petition that argued that he should have been declared winner of the election instead.



Mr Obi’s petition has continued to infuriate the ruling All Progressives Congress, which has also made several allegations, including treasonable felony, against the politician.



As part of his response to The Gazette’s publication, Mr Obi said he would not leave Nigeria, notwithstanding the pressure on him by the ruling regime of Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO:. I warned Peter Obi about Obidients’ excesses –Soyinka




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