Hadiza Usman Bala
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Rash of aspersions, media attacks: Usman threatens legal action against Sahara Reporters

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The suspended Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, has raised the alarm that an online newspaper has launched ceaseless attacks and campaign of calumny against her person.

Usman noted that the publication — Sahara Reporters — has continued “to spread false and rehashed stories directed at maligning my personality and casting aspersions on her reputation and service to the nation. 

She threatened to take legal action against Sahara Reporters if the publications continue.

In a statement entitled, “On Sahara Reporters’ campaign of calumny’’ and signed by her made available to Persecondnews, Usman said: “Now, it must be obvious to all Nigerians of good conscience that Sahara Reporters is sworn to a ceaseless campaign of calumny against my person.

“This, they do in total disregard of all rebuttals, which would have been needless but for the need to maintain my personal integrity and that of my family.

“Over the past two weeks, the publication has continued to spread false and rehashed stories directed at maligning my personality and casting aspersions on my reputation and service to the nation. This, they do in total disregard of all rebuttals, which would have been needless but for the need to maintain my personal integrity and that of my family.

“On Thursday May 20, 2021, Sahara Reporters published a story with the headline:“Budget report indicts ex-NPA boss, Usman shows unapproved N831million spent on hotels in 2016,2017.” 

“This story shows the relentless war that the publication is waging against my personality for reasons best known to them. The fact is that the NPA has its audited financial statements for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. These statements have the authentic figures of 
the Authority’s expenditure over those years.  

“However, rather than seek the authentic statements, Sahara Reporters have depended on snapshots of documents that are 
unauthenticated, apparently because they fit the already concocted and devious narratives that they love to sell to the public.’’

Usman said Sahara Reporters Television had earlier in the day on Thursday, released the video of a building with the title, “Alleged Zaria edifice built by Hadiza Bala Usman while in office as MD of Nigerian Ports Authority.” 

Describing the story as total falsehood, and a pathetic reflection of what Sahara Reporters has become, Usman stated: “I challenge the publication to produce any document that links me with this building.

“More importantly, it is time to serve notice on Sahara Reporters and its cohorts to desist from publishing unfounded stories targeted at tarnishing my image.  I have chosen to maintain a calm mien to this consistent falsehood, conscious of the demand of accountability, which national service places on me. 

“However, there is always a limit to which one can endure this needless perpetuation of falsehood.I will take legal action against SaharaReporters if it continues in this manner.’’

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