The controversy over a visit to Jonah Jang, former governor of Plateau state, took a new dimension on Tuesday night.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had denied the reports that he visited Jang in Jos Prison.
Jang, who is facing a 12-count charge of allegedly diverting N6.3 billion alongside Yusuf Pam, a former cashier in the office of the secretary to the state government, is currently in detention.
NAN had reported that chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including Abubakar, visited the ex-governor but the former number two citizen denied the report, describing it as “mere fabrication”.
However, NAN defended its story, releasing an audio of John Akan, spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau, confirming the visit of Abubakar to the prison.
Luka Ayedoo, public relations officer of the Nigeria Prison Service in Plateau state, had also said it was untrue that the former vice-president visited the prison.
This was contrary to what he was quoted to have said in NAN’s previous report.
“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,” Ayedoo was quoted to have said on Monday morning.
But Ayedoo recanted his confirmation of Abubakar’s visit when news went viral, though he did not deny the visits by Jerry Gana and other PDP leaders.
NAN said when it called Ayedoo on Tuesday evening to ask him if he did not speak to its reporter, he said he did not have a problem with the report but “only the aspect that concerns Atiku”.
The agency said its reporter maintained that he did not misquote Ayedoo and “in this circumstance, NAN stands by the story.”