Saturday, September 20, 2014

Full Transcript of TB Joshua Offering 50K Each to Reporters - A Clear Case Of Bribery

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I've been getting a lot of pushback from my blog readers on FB after my blog post [here] about TB Joshua giving blood money to reporters to influence their reports of a building that collapsed in his chrch premises.

To be clear, I listened to the audio and was appalled that instead of making a statement on the collapse, or sending sympathies to those that lost loved ones, TB Joshua badgered the journalists with the promise of money until they accepted his own accounts. A former journalist wrote to me;

Myne,really he did not offer them bribe at all. Back home as a reporter, each time we attend a press briefing,we get a brown envelope with money inside for lunch or for gas. He is not doing anything others have not done. Journalist back home counts on such goodwill each time they attend any press briefing. No one influences how a journalist writes a report,its totally up to the journalist to present a report the best way that tells the accuracy of a story.

My response is this - that it's done does not make it right. TB Joshua specifically told the reporters where to focus and what to leave out. And let's be clear that this is not an ordinary press briefing for a product launch or brand activation. We are talking about a catastrophe in which more than 80 people died! In the end, all TB Joshua could ask was, "so what will you write?"

For those who were not able to listen to the audio, please read the full transcript that Emeh Achanga has transcribed and then let's start having honest conversations.

Audio Proof - TB Joshua Offers Blood Money To Reporters With Bribe of N50,000 Each

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There is an audio recording by investigative reporter Nicholas Ibekwe who was among the reporters sent to cover the synagogue church building that collapsed last week. According to him, and as heard on the audio, TB Joshua coaches the reporters on how to frame the news story after he had told them they would each be getting N50,000.

Nicholas Ibekwe says he was the only journalist who turned down the bribe while all the others in the meeting took the money. So you can imagine that most of the news reports you have read/ heard/ watched about the incident has been tainted by blood money, and spun to suit the tastes of TB Joshua.

Read my commentary on TB Joshua and his official statement on the collapsed church building, here.

That Nigerian journalists collect "transport money" or "brown envelope" at press conferences and events is not hidden, I've had to turn away or give in to some of their requests myself. But that they would do it over the deaths of almost 100 people?

How low has our press gone to that they collected this blood money? What else have they collected bribe for and misinformed the masses? We may decry the work of bloggers, but can we at all trust the Nigerian fourth estate?

Check out Nicholas Ibekwe's tweets and listen to the audio below. Read the full transcript here.