Following the denial by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that he did not visit Senator David Jonah Jang, in Jos Prison, the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday said it is not recanting the story.
The denial by both the Atiku Media Office and Luka Ayedoo, the PRO of Jos Prison, followed a report by the NAN that Atiku, a leading figure in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, visited Jang who is detained on the orders of the Plateau High Court, following his trial for alleged fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
According to NAN, apart from Atiku, other notable politicians, who came for the solidarity visit, included Professor Jerry Gana, some senators and Chief Chris Giwa, who is fighting a protracted legal battle to become the President of the Nigerian Football Federation.
The news agency said: “Our reporter first got information about the visit from the Publicity secretary of Plateau State PDP, John Akans, and, in the tradition of the agency, called Ayedoo to confirm the visits by PDP bigwigs.
“Ayedoo was in Lafia at the time of the interview and confirmed everything the reporter wrote.
“Ayedoo recanted his confirmation of Atiku’s visit on Monday, when news of the visit had gone viral. He did not deny the visits by Jerry Gana and others.
“NAN called Ayedoo on Tuesday evening to ask him if he did not speak to our reporter and if he was not responsible for the copious quotes as published by the agency.
“His response was that ‘he does not have a problem with the report’, only the aspect that concerns ‘Atiku’.
“Our reporter, however, insisted that Ayedoo confirmed the report in its entirety, when he spoke with him and there was no disclaimer by Ayedoo earlier on Tuesday, when he spoke again with our reporter.
“In this circumstance, NAN stands by the story as sent by its reporter.”
NAN quoted Ayedoo as saying: “At the weekend, we received Prof. Jerry Gana, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, senators and other notable Nigerians who came on solidarity visit to Sen. Jonah Jang.”
“Even though Jang is in prison custody, he still reserves the right to be visited and so we won’t deny him that right,” he said.