Citizen TV news anchor and talk-show host Jeff Koinange has opened up on how he was shown the door while working as a reporter for America's Cable Network News (CNN) in 2007.
Speaking recently at Hot 96 FM, where he hosts a breakfast show, Jeff recounted the very day he received a call from his boss, only to be told he had lost his job. He says that, he was at the climax of his media career at the time.
“My boss called me and asked me to pull off the highway and he said, ‘Listen man, there is too much crap, too many rumours and Nigerians think you stage-managed that story. I don’t think we can sustain you any longer, we will need to let you go’,” Jeff narrates.
Jeff had worked on a story about a rebel group in Niger Delta that had almost brought the security of the Western African country to it knees, but he says he would do the story in a similar manner he did if he was asked to redo it.
“It was an amazing story and if I were to do it again I wouldn’t change a thing,” Jeff says, defending the story, adding: “I had researched for the story for more than a year gotten in touch with the rebels down there and they gave us permission. We flew down there and we went deep into the swamp to interview MEND with no security.”
In his report, Koinange took footages of him with masked MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) guerillas at an undisclosed camp where the group had detained a number of Filipino hostages.
The Nigerian government, however, accused Koinange of stage managing the story after it hit international headlines, a claim CNN had denied.
“But he (his boss in the highway phone call) said, don’t worry, we will pay you for the rest of your contract so you will be sorted but we just want to sever this relationship,” Jeff narrated.
Jeff expressed disappointment with CNN, saying they failed to investigate the allegations. He further denied rape allegations against him, saying the alleged victim and him had only communicated via e-mail.
“There were rumours that there was a woman in Europe who was in touch with me who wanted me to connect her with Oprah Winfrey to promote a book she had been working on. I told her Oprah is not that type of friend I just introduce anyone to, but she kept pushing and pushing,” he stated.
“She became a stalker threatening me through the mail. One day she wrote a story on her blog that I had attempted to rape her. The rumours got to my boss who ended up firing me,” he added.