The Peoples Gazette has said that it stands unflinchingly by its April 1, 2023 publication of a phone conversation between the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi and the founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide and presiding Bishop of the Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria, Bishop David Oyedepo.
The leaked audio conversation published by The Gazette in which Obi told Oyedepo before the February 25 presidential election that the poll was a “religious war” has since its publication generated nationwide criticisms.
On Wednesday, Obi who had remained silent over the leaked audio conversation denied the audio, describing it as fake and the handiwork of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
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He said there had also been pressure on him to leave Nigeria after the elections.
The former governor of Anambra state who came third in the presidential election also threatened to take legal action against Peoples Gazette over the leaked audio conversation to press a charge for defamation and libel.
But reacting to Obi’s lawsuit threat on Thursday, The Gazette’s Deputy Managing Editor, Boladale Adekoya, said the newspaper stands by its publication.
He said Obi wants to force them into revealing the source of the leaked audio at trial but that they will protect the source to any length.
Adekoya noted that the Obi’s leaked 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,” he said.
Adekoya, who stressed that The Gazette was prepared to go to any length to protect the source of the clip, said, “Finally, we maintain in no uncertain terms that we will uphold the principle of source protection to any length.”
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