Most of us (bloggers) are non-professionals. That’s why organizations like CDD are training fact-checkers to tame the fake news merchants. Such a training is good so that many bloggers will stop writing stories with too much bias, and at the expense of their integrity. Bloggers need to report without bias and leave their audience to judge.
A Facebook user by name Kingsley Ughe from Udo Village in Edo State but lives in Lagos originated a story in 2017. The story went viral on many blogs. But Mr. Ehifoh being the person involved has dragged the first blog that published the story to court. The originator of the story is also in court. In the lawsuit, Ehifoh claims the publication is an attempt to assassinate his character. When he (Ehifoh) told me this development, I believe it’s newsworthy, and should be reported without bias – my reservations notwithstanding.
So what is the story? The story alleges that a Swiss based Edo man named Christopher Ehifoh fraudulently married 14 wives in Nigeria, and another one in Switzerland who got to know about the acclaimed husband’s escapades in Nigeria, and reported the incident to one JLAA (a law firm I guess). It was claimed that JLAA filed a lawsuit on behalf of the women in Nigeria which caused Ehifoh to flee Nigeria to Switzerland, and that the Swiss police arrested him upon arrival. See the details of the story here https://www.gistmania.com/talk/topic,328974.0.html
Two years after, the man surfaced with a lawsuit against the originator of the story, and the blog that first published it without doing due diligence. I contacted the various bloggers that published the story then. But none of them was forthcoming. Some immediately deleted the story.
The Swiss based Nigerian Mr. Ehifoh finally decided to react to the story going round the internet that he is a womanizer, fraudster and cheat who was arrested by the Swiss authorities. Mr. Ehifoh stated clearly that the publication was false and that he has never been arrested by the Swiss Authorities for any crime whatsoever despite the fact that he has visited Nigeria and returned to Switzerland severally. Of more interest is the fact that till date, he still resides in Switzerland.
Ehifoh stated that he has never in his life been married to 14 women as alleged in the malicious publication. To this end, he has vowed to get legal redress even in the face of being exposed to public ridicule and opprobrium.
Many of these bloggers really need to learn from the well established news media companies. None of them published the story as viral as it was. Of course, that is professionalism.
Olusegun Iselaiye is a blogger from Lagos