How Nigerian Journalists fight over 2000 naira “brown envelope”- Nicholas Ibekwe


Corruption is an endemic disease in Nigeria even the so called watch dogs- the Journalists are corrupted,Nicholas Ibekwe is a Nigerian Journalist that recently exposed all the ills in the profession of Journalism in Nigeria.

In his article to explain why he decided to expose the purported 50,000 naira bribe offered by Synagogue Church of all Nation (SCOAN)’S General Oversees Pastor TB Joshua,(Listen to audio evidence here Ibekwe illustrated how the Nigerian system has corrupted the Nigerian Journalists

Here are excerpts from the article

Like everything in Nigeria, this “brown envelope” thing has been stretched beyond the limit of ridiculousness. I’d give some examples: On August 15, 2010 a truck belonging to Dangote Sugar Refinery caused an inferno at the Ojodu Bridge outside Otedola Estate in Lagos. More than 50 lives perished in the fire. An inquest was initiated by a non-governmental organisation, Access to Justice and Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana.

Please, take a deep breath before reading the next sentence. During the inquest, officials of Dangote Industries distributed cartons of spaghetti (and some money, probably to buy ingredients) to court reporters at the Ikeja High Court to probably skew their account of the hearing. In case you missed it let me repeat: Some Nigerian Journalists collected packs of spaghetti as bribes!

Are we that hungry? Some reporters got as little as 12 packs of spaghetti. My friend, Ben Ezeamalu, was almost beaten up for speaking against it.

In fact, they erected a wall of hostility around themselves whenever he came around. According to him, a very senior journalist pulled him aside and told him it was easy for him to turn down the brown envelope because he wasn’t married and had no school fees to pay.

Ben said his curiosity was aroused while he was researching for material on the internet for an article he was writing days before the coroner’s verdict on the inquest. To his surprise, there was very little material for an inquest that involved Africa’s richest man and had lasted 19 months! After the coroner delivered his verdict, in which he indicted Dangote’s company as well as the Nigeria Police, the (short) article was tucked away in a remote corner in almost all the newspapers the next day. The fact that the coroner indicted Dangote was also carefully left out in the articles.

Other journalists have tagged Ben, “a spy” for consistently refusing to collect “brown envelopes”.

Nigerian journalists no longer know where to draw the line. A father, who lost his son during the last Dana plane crash, was forced to pay journalists during his son’s wake-keep before it was reported. There are more puke-inducing instances but I’d stop here.

For those of you saying N50,000 ($300) was too little to entice Nigerian reporters, I’ve seen reporters scuffle over N2,000 ($12) during a press conference.

During last year’s gubernatorial election in Ondo State, reporters literally came to blows at Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s home after the latter released “appreciation money” for journalists who covered his polling unit. The sharing formula was N10,000 per head, until the cash ran low and the formula switched to N7,000. Cue bedlam. The governor’s PA, looking on with contempt, threatened to evict them from his employer’s residence if they failed to conduct themselves with decorum. One fellow even started arranging for another group of journalists to go meet the governor for another “appreciation money.” is your one-stop online news magazine blog. We report credible information as they happen. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get Latest Information.

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