Reno Omokri, Special Assistant on New Media, is in the middle of a storm after a slanderous write up against the recently suspended ex governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was traced to his computer.
He is believed to have used a pseudonym, Wendell Simlin, to circulate an article that tried to link the recent spike in Boko Haram attack to the suspension of the CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi.
The article tried to use a purported historical framework to draw contextual relationship between the suspended CBN governor and Boko Haram attacks.
“Given the quantum of funds that were appropriated by the Sanusi-led CBN on non banking related activities and donations, and the strong desire that he and Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab have for proselytizing Islam as well as their circumstantial links to terror (Sanusi via Gideon Akaluka and Mutallab via his son) it is not such a leap for them to facilitate the activities of terrorists,” the article read in part.
The article was circulated to bloggers and journalists on Wednesday with the third party email address, email@example.com, but an analysis of the document’s metadata revealed that Reno Omokri authored it.
The document was created by Mr. Omokri or someone else who used his Hewlett Packard computer at 10:01 on Wednesday. Sixteen minutes after it was created, the document was printed and revised once before it was sent out at 11:54 using the Wendell Simlin’s email address.
The email was sent out using the Nigerian government’s official internet service provider, Galaxy Backbone, from Abuja, Feyi Fawehimi who first investigated the mail said.
The revelation of the potential scandal angered Nigerians on social media with many calling for his sack.
Mr. Omokri who claims to be a pastor, often posting gospel tips on twitter, is criticized for failing morally and acting criminally by trying to blame Mr. Sanusi for terrorist killing less than 48 hours after members of the Boko Haram sect murdered young students in their hostels.
Mr. Omokri has the reputation of being government’s online marksman. He is believed to be President Jonathan’s coordinator of internet trolls and leads the government’s social media onslaught on opposition parties and critics of the administration.
“Some of us who know him know he establishes spurious online accounts to malign opposition,” Tolu Ogunlesi, a journalist, said.
“It is something we know he does,” another blogger said.
The “grave” attitudinal deficiency exposed by Mr. Reno’s email shows a great danger ahead of Nigeria’s 2015 elections, critics say, arguing that it is an indication that the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration would rather reap politically from the killing than put an end to it.
“Rather than solving the Boko Haram problem, he is using it for political gains,” Mr. Fawehimi said. “It is quite low and depressing.”
Omokri is yet to respond as of the time of publishing this report.
Below is the statement Omokri released:
Increased Tempo of Boko Haram/Terrorist Activity in the Wake of the Sanusi Saga
In the wake of the saga involving the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, there has been an increase in the tempo of terrorist activities carried out by the Islamic Terrorist sect, Boko Haram.
Taken together with some historical facts, there is a strong case that this increase in tempo and other activities are not
The following Timelines may throw some light on the likely linkages;
February 20th 2014: President Goodluck Jonathan suspends Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank
February 20th 2014: Boko Haram attacks Bama town killing at least 47, wounding many and destroying houses.
February 23rd 2014: Boko Haram attacks Konduga Local Government, destroying houses, and allegedly killing scores of
February 24th 2014: Borno State Governor’s convoy allegedly attacked by gunmen.
February 25th 2014: Boko Haram attacks Federal Government College, Buni Yada, in Yobe State, killing at least 29 students as
It is a historical fact that Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was implicated in the Gideon Akaluka beheading affair of 1995 and was subsequently arrested in Kano and detained by the Abacha administration in Sokoto, Sokoto State.
Sanusi was released after the intervention of (amongst others) Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab.
Alhaji Mutallab used his influence to place Sanusi comfortably in the banking sector beginning with the United Bank for Africa
from where he moved to First Bank where he (Mutallab) was chairman.
Malam Sanusi rose within the ranks, aided by his relationship with Mutallab, until he was nominated by President Yar’adua
and confirmed by the senate as the Governor of the CBN in 2009.
It is pertinent to note two incidences that cannot be coincidences. The son of Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab (Farouk
Abdul Mutallab) eventually entered into infamy when he was arrested and tried for attempting to detonate an under wear
bomb on a Northwest Airlines flight into America. Farouk Abdul Mutallab became radicalized after he had gone to study Sharia
and Islamic studies in Yemen in 2009.
This was exactly the same trajectory earlier taken by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who schooled at the International University of
Africa in Khartoum, Sudan in the mid 1990s while Osama Bin Laden was also a resident of the city.