By Florence Agbo
An online platform, PerSecondsNews.com, on Friday reactivated a long running campaign of calumny against businessman, Mr Dumebi Kachikwu in an article titled “Kachikwu on the run, wanted for graft charges”. The platform claimed that the businessman was on the run from ‘anti-corruption agency investigators’. Nothing can be farther from the truth as Mr Kachikwu, being an ethical businessman, has nothing to chase him around neither does he have anything to run from. He is therefore not on the run.
It is pertinent to note that there is nothing new in the hallucinatory accounts presented in the so called news story that is actually a collage of other fables that were previously published to malign Mr Kachikwu’s person. This is evident in the portion of the story that dragged his family into the vindictive narration, which is a total farce.
The pettiness of the story was further revealed by the attempt to link a political incidence with business and anti-corruption matters. The desperation to stack up falsehood and make it look like facts can only be driven by a desperate attempt at character assassination and the product of twisted minds.
This attack should have ordinarily been ignored but for the fact that it has become proof that the man running this platform, one Femi Soleye, has personal grudges against Mr Kachikwu. Soleye apparently runs that business exclusively with members of his family from a fictitious address. He engages in a lot of passing off with pictures of him posing with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
With an online followership of about 50,000 persons, Soleye’s desperation to use his blog for the ugly practice of blackmail-for-cash is not surprising. He is in this business with a handful of other jobbers who hide behind the unanimity of online presence to extort Nigerian businessmen and politicians by using fictitious stories for blackmail.
Most of these characters stay in the US illegally without any permit and no reasonable source of livelihood other than the money they are able to raise from blackmailing people. Not only do they stay in the US illegally, they also break that country’s tax laws as they are known to receive the proceeds of their blackmail into domiciliary accounts in Nigeria.
It is good that Mr. Kachikwu has made up his mind to escalate their matter to the FBI since these illegal migrants cannot continue to hide in the US to harm other law abiding persons.
This is the more reason why Nigerians should ask why responsible citizen journalists would prefer to illegally operate from the US instead of staying in their country, where they can see things first hand.
Contrary to the false impression that Soleye tried to create, Mr Dumebi Kachikwu has in the last three to four years recorded major successes in his business. This has become a source of frustration to the likes of Soleye that still cannot make decent living from blackmail. He has therefore become a major source of worry to many idle characters who devise some of these strategies to extort. Mr Kachikwu, unlike other victims of fraudulent bloggers, has refused to part with a cent in blackmail money to them, which explains why they keep publishing the same story under different headlines.
Anyone attempting to publish falsehood against Mr Kachikwu, his family and businesses in the hope of getting paid to stop would do well to find other revenue sources. Mr Kachikwu had in the past made it crystal clear that he has nothing to hide and will therefore not pay bribes to stop jobbers from publishing falsehood. If he there are genuine issues they would be addressed using the appropriate legal channels and not on the pages of failed blogs.
The charge is therefore to Nigerians, home and abroad, to be mindful of the blog they spend their hard earned data bundles surfing to avoid wasting their resources on fraudulent content. If we will ever get sanity in public life, characters like Soyele must be named and shamed. Victims of extortion by him and his likes should boldly step out and let the world know how blackmail efforts are presented as journalistic stories. Where victims do not want to go public they should nonetheless notify law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies so that these criminals can be picked up for trial once they arrive Nigeria to mount pressure on other would be victims.
The anti-graft agencies, as part of their investigation, should uncover why persons living abroad should be financed from domiciliary accounts in Nigeria, which in addition to housing proceeds of crime, also put pressure on the naira since these guys take forex out of the country instead of repatriating same as should have been the case if they were professionals.
Agbo, a concerned Citizen contributed this piece from Abuja.