The Daily Independent newspaper has retracted its story and apologised to Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, over its publication alleging that Pantami was placed on the terrorism watchlist of the United States Government.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, which was signed by its Editor, the medium noted that it has realised that the information contained in the story has not been verified to be true.
The Editor, Daily Independent wrote: “Our attention has been drawn to the story with the above title, published in the Sunday Independent newspaper of April 11, 2021. We have since realized that the information contained in the story has not been verified to be true. The Minister mentioned in the story, Alhaji Isa Ali Ibrahim, also known as Sheikh Pantami, is not known to be on American Terror Watch List, nor is he linked to terror organisations. We regret and sincerely apologise for the embarrassment our story has caused the Honourable Minister whom we hold in high regard.”
Furthermore, checks on its website revealed that the medium has taken the story down from its publications.
This retraction has come after PRNigeria published findings of its investigation, which revealed that the Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja could not confirm the allegation levelled against the Minister by the newspaper.
Responding to a request for clarification over a media report linking the Minister to terrorism, the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy could not provide any information, but referred PRNigeria to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency.
Further investigation on the official website of FBI, showed Pantami’s name was nowhere to be found in the list of Most Wanted Terrorists, Fugitives or other Criminals.