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President Jonathan special assistant on social media exposed as the author of the fake document linking Sanusi with boko haram

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Reno Omokri, the outspoken Special Assistant on Social
Media to President Goodluck Jonathan, was today
unmasked as the brain behind a fraudulent attempt to
link Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the suspended Governor of the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to the recent spike
in Boko Haram violence in Borno and Yobe States. In one
of the recent attacks, Boko Haram terrorists slaughtered
some 60 secondary school students at their boarding house.
Posing as “Wendell Simlin,” Mr. Omokri circulated a
Word document linking the former CBN Governor to the
recent attacks. The ruse was however uncovered when some
Internet-savvy Nigerians traced the IP address of the
source document and it turned out that it had been authored
and circulated by Mr. Omokri.
This scandal, the latest in a series of ethical and corruption
issues rocking the Jonathan administration, set Twitter on
fire today. Outraged Nigerians called for
Mr. Omokri’s sack. The timing of Mr. Omokri’s fraudulent
act is particularly insensitive, with many commentators
questioning why a member of President Jonathan’s inner
circle would seek to capitalize on the blood of slaughtered
innocent children by forging documents to implicate a
perceived “enemy” of the Jonathan administration.
Mr. Omokri’s callous forgery began to unfold
today at about 11.54 a.m. (Nigerian time) when certain
media outlets and editors received an email from one
Wendell Simlin ([email protected] ) with the
headline “Increased Tempo of Boko Haram/Terrorist
Activity in the Wake of the Sanusi Saga”.
The email included a Word document which sought to use
spurious circumstantial evidence laced with a heavy dose of
innuendo to suggest that the renewed Boko Haram attacks in
the Northeast were linked to Mr. Sanusi’s recent suspension
as CBN governor.
Curiously, the document also contained attacks on Alhaji
Umaru Mutallab, the father of the jailed Christmas Day
Underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Mutallab.
Several tech-savvy individuals tried to ascertain who the
author was and why such critical information was emerging
from a “strange” and unknown name. The investigations
turned up the following evidence:
1. They found a Wendell Simlin on Facebook with only one
photo. That photo had Mr. Reno Omokri in it. While the
photo has since been deleted, a screenshot was taken before the
deletion and it is hereby published.
2. Further circumstantial evidence, such as friendships on
Facebook, including ‘liked’ pages, strongly linked the account
of Mr. Simlin to Mr Omokri. Some Internet investigators
also discovered that there was a lot of interaction linking the
“shadowy” Mr. Simlin to Mr Omokri as far back as 2010.
3. A check of the IP address from which the email was
sent indicated somewhere around the Kubwa area in Abuja
with the IP address of 41.78.81.189.
4. But the most damning evidence was found in the Word
document “Simlin” sent out as news, which had the author’s
name as Reno Omokri. Those who received the original
email have also done a check and confirmed that Mr.
Omokri’s name was on it. Investigations further confirmed
the person who saved and edited the document to
be Mr. Omokri. Both screenshots are reproduced here.
Prior to today’s development, Mr. Omokri had already
developed a reputation for a pattern of using a variety
of identities (aliases and screen names) on the Internet
to attack and smear the names of perceived enemies of Mr.
Jonathan.
Analysts say that, even if Mr. Omokri was acting alone, the
fact that he is officially a Special Assistant to the
President implicates the Presidency in his callous effort to
exploit a shocking tragedy in order to smear the former CBN
Governor. The unmasking of Mr. Omokri as the author and
mastermind of the grave forgery is likely to dent the
Presidency as it sends the message that Mr. Jonathan may
secretly encourage the very dirty tactics to which he publicly
objects.

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