A statement by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Austin Tam-George, on Thursday, said the audio is false, alleging that a voice changer technology was used to blackmail the governor.
The statement reads:
“The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to a publication by SaharaReporters, alleging that Governor Nyesom Wike had illicit contacts with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the run up to the re-run elections, on the 10th of December 2016 in Rivers State.
“We categorically deny these latest allegations as a ‘sick fabrication’, and an ‘outright lie’. Governor Wike never made any contact with INEC officials, in person or by telephone. Saharareporters.com is the online propaganda bullhorn of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“Their publications are typically false, and the writers are professional hawkers of fiction. No one would have thought that the APC and its cowardly media allies would resort to an audio impersonation of Governor Nyesom Wike, using a voice changer technology. The voice changer technology is often used by teenagers especially in South Korea and Japan to launch innocent technological pranks at each other, mainly for laughs.
“The use of such a technology to blackmail a governor is a new criminal low for the APC, a party already widely discredited for its addiction to falsehood. The APC and Saharareporters are inmates in the prison of their own lies. We reject the latest blackmail by the APC.”
Following the leaked audio report, Governor Wike led a protest march to the police headquarters in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.
He further invited a few bloggers and journalists to a meeting and enlisted them to claim that the leaked audio was a product of voice altering software.
Meanwhile, Sahara Reporters have in another report, purportedly unmasked the identities of key collaborators who played a role in the leaked audio.