A former aide to the ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, had dismissed claims that he was involved in bringing the embattled UK political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica to Nigeria.
The Nigerian government had earlier this week indicated that t is probing claims that a British-based political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, illegally used Facebook data in past election campaigns for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In a press statement released Sunday, the Federal Government said it was probing whether the firm broke the law to wage “a campaign to perpetuate discord and hack into personal records of the then leading opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari.”
A former staff of Cambridge Analytica had told the UK parliament how the company used data sourced from social media to campaign for PDP in the 2015 presidential election.
He said the campaign carried out by the company for PDP included “anti-election rallies” and a gory video depicting Buhari as an Islamic fundamentalist on a quest to enforce Sharia law in Nigeria said the statement.
Following the testimony, the UK Guardian published one of the gory videos used by Cambridge Analytica to de-market Buhari on its website two days ago.
But Ikechukwu Eze, spokesperson for Jonathan who eventually lost out to Buhari in the presidential election told AFP yesterday that his boss was not aware of the campaign.
“He wasn’t aware of it,” spokesman Ikechukwu Eze said on Thursday, referring to the former President.
When asked about the probe, Eze replied: “The best thing to do is to wait for the conclusion of the investigation.”
In the same vein, Omokri who had taken upon himself the task of defending allegations against the former President denied any link with Cambridge Analytica in response to claims by Bridget Onochie, one of the aides to President Buhari that he brought the company to Nigeria.
In a statement on Friday, April 6, 2018, Omokri said, “It has been brought to my attention that a woman of easy virtue, currently working as a mudslinger for Buhari has accused me, Reno Omokri, of bringing Cambridge Analytica to Nigeria. This is false.
“I challenge this administration to come up with even one shred of evidence to support their false allegations and innuendoes. I know they cannot because none exists.
“Yes, it is true that I worked as a Vice President of Joe Trippi and Associates before becoming one of President Jonathan’s spokesmen, but neither myself nor Trippi and Associates are linked to Cambridge Analytica, said Omokri, who as aide to former President Jonathan on new media was caught using a fake name to push out negative stories about opposition and those opposed to his boss.