Nigerian oil firm Sahara Energy has secretly appointed ex convict and Daily Nation newspaper proprietor Richard Sakala as the company’s spin doc to thwart any negative reports about the company that has been facing investigations in Nigeria and now working tirelessly to secure oil supply contracts with Zambia.
In this crusade Sakala was paid $2m by the Sahara Public relations department and facilitated the identification of eight reporters and editors from different media houses who were hosted in Nigeria and Ghana by Sahara and paid some money to come and execute the operation. The stay in West Africa lasted two weeks and the reporters only came back on Saturday, this is according to information obtained from Zambian authorities in Nigeria.
“In essence, we had some reporters from different media but I can confirm that two were from Daily Nation and another one from Radio Phoenix while the other two were from public media including ZNBC. The other three I am not certain but I can even give you the details of the flights and the names for your records,” said the source who added that part of the scheme will be for the reporters to unleash newsroom attacks on entities that will be opposed to the Sahara corruption.
Back home in Nigeria, Sahara has been facing investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – EFCC for corruption involving $60m which they paid to Nigerian politicians to secure corrupt contracts. But according to information obtained on their website, the company has denied the corruption.
In the company’s typical scheme of using the media to fight enemies, on 23rd June 2016 they unleashed online attacks on Ekiti state governor and strong critic to Nigerian ruler Muhammadou Buhari, Peter Ayodele Fayose using a Nigerian media portal called Nairaland and also sponsored by Sahara Energy.