Editor of FirstNews, Segun Olatunji, Resigns Following Retraction and Apology to Gbajabiamila

Editor of FirstNews, Segun Olatunji, Resigns Following Retraction and Apology to Gbajabiamila
Editor of FirstNews, Segun Olatunji, Resigns Following Retraction and Apology to Gbajabiamila

First News, a Nigerian online news outlet, issued a public apology to Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, over a January article. The story, penned by then-General Editor Segun Olatunji, was retracted due to false information sourced from a deceptive informant.

According to the publication of the article, titled “How Gbajabiamila attempted to corner $30bn, 66 houses traced to Sabiu,” authored by the Editor, Segun Olatunji was found to contain fabricated information “handed out to us as facts by a misleading source”.

Seeking to clear any hint of malice towards Gbajabiamila and his office, First News expressed earnest regret and extended an unconditional apology on May 8, 2024. This expression of regret came in light of an error regarding the piece that linked Gbajabiamila to a financial intrigue.

“As a responsible media organisation, we wish to state very categorically that we have no malicious intent towards the person of the Chief of Staff to the President or his office. Hence, our decision to tender an unreserved apology and the need to publish a retraction of the said story.”

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Subsequent to the time the publication admitted their fault, Olatunji tendered his resignation, citing personal safety and that of his family as primary concerns. Alongside a call to protect his reputation, he urged the settlement of a backlog of his remuneration owed by First News.

Olatunji’s resignation letter reads:

”In view of the latest development regarding the Gbajabiamila story and the stance of the company’s Management, I hereby tender my resignation as the General Editor of First News.

”It has become imperative for me to resign my appointment for the safety of my person and my family.

”However, I want to state that in no distant time, the truth will come out and then it’ll be my word against theirs.

”I hope the Management of First Media Network Limited, publishers of First News newspaper, will be magnanimous enough to fully settle the one year outstanding salaries I am being owed, in no time.

”I thank the company’s management for giving me the opportunity to contribute my quota to its operations in the past four years.”

Olatunji’s departure comes in the wake of his previous arrest by the Defence Intelligence Agency, a situation that sparked outcry across media circles. His resignation letter affirms a conviction that truth will vindicate his narrative in due course as the situation unfolds further.

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