The group accused Mr. Abati of misinforming the public.
A coalition of civil society organisations, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has petitioned the Nigerian Guild of Editors asking it to punish the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Reuben Abati, for his breach of journalistic ethics.
Mr. Abati is a journalist and former Chairman of the Editorial Board of Guardian Newspapers.
The coalition said by spreading untruth about the health of the first lady, Patience Jonathan; government’s negotiation with extremist Islamic group, Boko Haram; and the cancellation of the Manitoba Power Contract, Mr. Abati flouted a fundamental journalistic ethics-telling the truth at all times.
“The public has a right to know. Factual, accurate balance and fair reporting is the ultimate objective of good journalism and the basis for earning public trust and confidence. The journalist therefore should refrain from publishing inaccurate and misleading information,” the group said quoting a provision of the Code of Ethics for Nigerian Journalists.
The petition, signed by the Chairman of the group, Olanrewaju Suraju, stated that the president exposed the lie told by Mr. Abati that Mrs. Jonathan was “hale and hearty” during a media chat when he confessed that she was recuperating from illness.
Further, 14, November, Mr. Abati released a statement stating that the president has cancelled the Manitoba Power contract. The President also refuted this as untrue during the same media chat. According to Mr. Jonathan, the contract was only being regularized as due process had not been followed in awarding the contract.
Contrary to what Mr. Abati told state house correspondents that the government was in talks with Boko Haram, the president also said the government was not discussing with the extremist group.
CSNAC therefore asked the editors’ guild to sanction Mr. Abati, who is a member of the body.
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