The JAF said the reporter created a fictional group and protest in his report.
The Joint Action Front, JAF, a coalition of Labour and Civil Society groups, has urged Lagos based tabloid, PM News, to investigate one of its reporters over a “malicious and concocted report.”
A news story published by the newspaper on December 21, written by Jamiu Yisa, had reported how a purported pressure group, Joint Action Movement, JAM, condemned the mass action declared by JAF on behalf of commercial motorcycle riders, okada riders, in the state.
JAF, on behalf of the Okada riders, have been organizing mass actions to protest the restriction of commercial motorcyclists on major roads in the state.
In the PM News report, Kehinde Olaore and Kola Animashaun, the President and General Secretary respectively of JAM, while distancing themselves from the mass action, pledged their support for the Lagos Traffic Law.
According to the report, the duo, at rallies held at Agege and Mile 12 on Friday morning warned the protesters of the risk of being charged with contempt of court since a “competent court” had already ruled on the matter.
They also warned JAF to “desist from misleading the people.”
But in a statement in Lagos, JAF stated that the pressure group is a figment of Mr. Yisa’s imagination.
“We strongly believe that the floated JAM should be in the imagination of Mr. Jamiu Yisa, who, from our preliminary findings, has been exposed as an agent of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, working to undermine the credibility of the PM News,” said Abiodun Aremu, JAF’s secretary.
Mr. Aremu said that their investigations also revealed that the rallies, as reported by the journalist, never held anywhere in Lagos.
“Rallies and protests (even the rent-a-crowd government-sponsored) had never escaped the attention of a wide section of the media and the police,” said Mr. Aremu.
“Mr. Jamiu needs to explain to the public who Kehinde Olaore and Kola Animashaun are, his invitation to cover the rallies and photographs of the rallies.
“Mr. Jamiu needs to convince the public of the history of JAM and its capacity to pull two supposedly held rallies in the morning hours as were covered by only him,” Mr. Aremu added.