By Ike A. Offor
The Ozubulu church massacre has opened a new discourse about poor journalism in Nigeria. And the rush to publish unfounded and unsubstantiated stories in the media by big and small media houses and even in blogs by bloggers, who most of the time copy from websites of big media outlets, hoping that they have verified their stories thoroughly before publishing.
When the incident happened at St Philip church in Ozubulu in Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra state, every media and the social media users jumped on it like every other news. But sooner than expected the truer picture is beginning to emerge that the two businessmen the media rushed to involve in the incident are not part of it.
In one of them, another man whose name and the video was wrongly and defame-ably connected to the incident has threatened to sue The Sun Newspaper unless he gets a unreserved apology from the said newspaper firm or else he would proceed to the law court.
The issue is that The Sun newspaper published a video of Mr Kingsley Ekeoma as the man who was sought after by the killers, who carried out the unspeakable massacre in the house of God on Sunday in Ozubulu.
The problem here is that these stories were never verified before these media outlets went to the air to publish barrages of unsubstantiated information. The stories in so many cases were incoherent and names were badly mangled and got even unsuspecting readers confused as who is the real person and where he is actually from.
The man, Kingsley Ekeoma, popularly known as Escobar who was alleged by the Nigerian media (Sun newspaper) and the Nigeria Police as the one purportedly involved in the drug dealers cartel which the gunmen that killed worshippers on Sunday were looking for, has come out to deny his involvement in the act.
Escobar has threatened to institute a lawsuit against The Sun newspaper and the police for defamation of character.
According to him, he is neither from Ozubulu nor has he ever visited South Africa in his lifetime.
Hear him: “Am neither the so called Bishop nor from Ozubulu in Anambra State. I have never been to South Africa nor Ozubulu before.
I hail from Umuahia Abia State but base in Turkey. I am a legitimate businessman (Verified Real Estate Developer in Abuja).
I hereby call on the office of the Inspector General of police, DSS and other security related departments to do proper investigations into the massacre in Ozubulu. As for AIT and Sun Newspaper wait for me.
I know some stupid fools want to tarnish my reputations but I will follow up this case with my team of lawyers till the end.
My sympathy to the bereaved families and the truth must prevail. Please, my beloved friends, Help me and share this report around and viral. God bless you all.”