In it, DSS threatened to sue the newspaper if it failed to meet its conditions.
According to the content of the DSS letter made available to Newsdiaryonline, the conditions the Peoples Gazette should meet include: “That the story should be taken down immediately;
“That you should publish a retraction on your platform in the next 24 hours; and
“That you render unreserved apology to the Service for deliberately casting it in bad light.”
The letter gave an insight into an earlier conversation between the DSS Spokesman Dr Peter Afunanya and Ogundipe.
Excerpts of the letter signed by Afunanya reads thus: “You may kindly recall that I had called you earlier today to complain about the above misleading publication by your online platform, Peoples Gazette. It alleged that bandits and terrorists had been “receiving arms and ammunition from operatives of the State Security Service and often split ransom payments received at gunpoint”. Your report, as you were made to understand, was unfounded, mischievous and a calculated effort to bring the Service and its hardworking personnel to disrepute.
“Though you made allusion to the report by Deutsche Welle as your source, you agreed that the said reportage did not in any way refer to the State Security Service as used in Peoples Gazette fake post. You affirmed that the Service was doing so much and did not deserve such negative portrayal. You further expressed disappointment and surprise that your reporter did not reach out to the Service as claimed, the way you would have personally done by means of call, SMS and/or WhatsApp chat.
“While we agreed that this development has offered you opportunity to step up supervision of your staff, I, on behalf of the Service, made a three point demand”
The letter said, “In view of the long standing relationship with the media as strategic partners, it is believed that you will speedily comply with these demands otherwise the Service would resort to litigation.”