The Department of State Services (DSS) has distanced itself from the controversial report claiming that the Chairman of the Presidential Election Tribunal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, was indicted for bribery and corruption.
According to a report by Authority Newspaper, the DSS had submitted a secret memo to President Muhammadu Buhari, which was said to have indicted Justice Bulkachuwa of being “incurably corrupt”.
She was accused of engaging in bribery and taking kickbacks from judges she assigned to lucrative and juicy cases.
In a statement by its Public Relation Officer, National Headquarters, Peter Afunanya on Saturday, DSS said the Memo only exists in the imagination of the writers and should be roundly disregarded by the reading public.
The Service stated it has launched a detailed investigation into the controversies surrounding the said publication.
The DSS warned: “It is the wish of the Service that it is left out of the maneuvers of politicians who are hereby advised to abide by the rule of law and respect the entire process of electoral litigations regarding the activities of the tribunal.
“The Service will continue to collaborate with the media as strategic partners in nation building and admonishes practitioners to be lawful and professional in the execution of their responsibility.”
It warned mischief makers intent on causing disaffection in the polity are should desist from such acts as the full weight of the law will be visited on defaulters.
The management of Authority Newspaper, in a statement, apologized for the publication.
It said publication was immediately withdrawn when the attention of the editors was drawn on the online platform publication on May 9th, 2019.
“Immediately the Editor noticed the said unauthorised publication, he ordered a pull-down of the said story from our online platform, which was complied with even before his invitation to your office.
“The staff member responsible was also sanctioned,” the newspaper in a statement by the Managing Editor/Editor-in-Chief Mr. Madu Onuorah a copy made available to the Nation in Gusau Saturday.
The Authority expressed an unreserved apology for the embarrassment the said story may have caused the DSS explaining “as a responsible media organisation, we have no intention to bring the DSS to disrepute, nor impinge on the integrity of the Hon. Justice.”
The Presidency had also reacted to the report, describing it as part of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) “media smear campaign” against Justice Bulkachuwa.
It further claimed that the report was aimed at causing disaffection between the Executive and the Judiciary which had operated smoothly under the present dispensation.
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