Exposed: How Mimi Orubibi bribed Sahara Reporters to indict Suswam, Mohammed, Tribunal
By James Ameh Abuja and Titus Apine, Makurdi (Nigerian Concord)
Facts have emerged on how a former chairman of Benue Internal Revenue Services, Mrs Mimi Orubibi, bribed the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, with a sum of $20,000 to publish a damaging report against the senator representing Zone A, Senator Gabriel Suswam, Justice R. Mohammed of the federal high court in Abuja as well as members of the Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on his website, www.saharareporters.com.
Findings by our reporter showed that the deal between the Sahara Reporters publisher and Mimi Orubibi who contested against Suswam during the last senatorial poll which she lost to Gabriel Suswam was perfected by a prominent Lagos-based lawyer (name withheld) two weeks ago.
It was reported that the trio of Orubibi, Sowore and the lawyer had two weeks ago met in Hilton Transcorp, Abuja where the former BIRS chairman demanded that members of the Election Petition Tribunal sitting on an election case between her and Senator Suswam be blackmailed and discredited in Sahara Reporters.
During our investigation, a dependable source who confided in our reporter said that it was at that point that Mr. Sowore drafted the report which was published on his Sahara Reporters website yesterday.
Recall that the New York-based news portal had yesterday published a report that Suswam, a former governor of Benue state, had bribed a federal high court judge with N500m to quash a pending case against him.
The report also accused Suswam of bribing Justices R.O. Odugwu, M.A. Onyetenu and Esther Tata who are members of the Election Petition Tribunal handling an election case between him and Orubibi with N187m in order to rule in his favour.
Our source said that Sowore asked for a fee of $30, 000 for the report but he later agreed to collect $20, 000 after the intervention of the Lagos-based lawyer. The said $20, 000 was given to the publisher inside an envelope immediately the deal was struck.
Meanwhile, some Benue APC media handlers working with Orubibi who was last year sacked from the BIRS by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state as a result of gross financial misappropriation have been writing on the Social Media since the report was published that, the aim of publishing the report was to blackmail the Tribunal members and make them look biased before the public.
“Once the Tribunal members have been blackmailed, they will not have any integrity again, and that will force them to quit as members of the Tribunal.
‘And once this is achieved, Mimi will use the influence of a certain political godfather of APC in Benue state to ensure that fresh members of the Tribunal are familiar with her” a source who saw them at the Lobby of Hilton Transcorp where the deal was struck told out reporter.
Also, it was gathered that the former Zone A APC senatorial candidate planned to embarrass Justice R. Muhammed, a federal high court judge that is sitting on a pending corruption case against Senator Suswam, so that he could withdraw from the case just as he was forced to do sometimes in 2016 when the same Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, falsely accused him of taking bribe from the same Senator Suswam.
In a related development, the jumbo pay which Orubibi made to the publisher has caused inside rift between her and some aggrieved members of the Benue APC social media group.
Some of the aggrieved members who spoke with this newspaper under a condition of anonymity said that it was a rude shock to learn from one of Orubibi’s publicists that she left them to give such juicy job to an outsider (referring to Sowore)
One of them said: “We will not accept any form of use and dump from our leaders because what Madam (Orubibi) has just done is bad. Does that mean that we in the APC social media team cannot write the story properly? Why on earth did she give such amount totalling N8m to the Sahara Reporters guy who has never suffered with us in the party.
” Our leaders have betrayed us. They have abandoned us for Sowore, an outsider by leaving us behind to award that big job to him alone. Our leaders will always complain before they will give each of us, members of the APC social media team, N5, 000 monthly. They always complain that they do not have money but they must tell us where they got the $20,000 they gave Sowore for that propaganda against Suswam.
Another aggrieved member of the APC media team also said that the report that Suswam bribed a judge as well as Tribunal members was untrue.
He said: “Five of us in the APC media team were involved in the propaganda before that woman (Orubibi) went and gave the job to an outsider
” We planned together with her on how to blackmail Suswam, and the agreement was that they would fund us to create some newspaper websites with which we planned to do the propaganda but, we were shocked when one of madam’s aides told us that she had given the job to Sahara Reporters which is based in New York.
“Apart from Suswam’s issue, we also agreed at the meeting with Madam three weeks ago that we would also published reports that Governor Ortom has bribed the Tribunal with N750 million so as to ridicule members of the Tribunal.
” In fact, it was then that madam gave us the reports on the N7.4b PAYE so that we could lie against the governor that had used 10% of the funds to bribe the Tribunal members.
“It was while we were waiting for them to release the funds which we wanted to use to create three different newspaper websites that we read the story on Sahara Reporters, and Madam’s people confirmed to us that she decided to give the job out when she felt we could not handle it to her taste”