Drama, as The Guardian removes Acting Editor

The late Chief Alex Ibru, Publisher, The Guardian

The late Chief Alex Ibru, Publisher, The Guardian


*Julius Eto denies any wrongdoing

By Wuraola Ajanlekoko

November 25, 2015.
A major drama unfolded at the Rutam House, headquarters of The Guardian newspaper last Thursday, when its management suddenly asked the Acting Editor of The Guardian (Daily), Mr. Julius Eto to step aside.

The Editor, Mr. Martins Oloja had proceeded on leave on Monday November 16, and as is customary, Eto, his deputy, took over as “Acting Editor” from Tuesday November 17.

However, Eto’s name curiously appeared on the back page of the newspaper as “Editor” on Thursday, November 19, prompting several questions on whether Oloja had been relieved of his job.

Things took another dimension when, on Friday November 20, another name, “Jewell Dafinone” appeared on the back page of the newspaper as “Acting Editor”.

Sources told the magazine that the management was embarrassed about the development and quickly investigated what was considered a “very serious” infraction. Eto and some senior production staff members were subsequently queried.

In their defence, the production editors reportedly affirmed that, as at the time they left the office on the night of November 18, what was at the back page of the newspaper (in the server) was the “Acting Editor” title for Eto. They were said to have produced their okayed pages as proof. The management was said to have promptly removed Eto and asked Dafinone, the General Editor, to take his place as “Acting Editor.”

Sources alleged that Eto “personally opened the company’s server in the early hours of November 19 and changed the “Acting Editor” title to “Editor.”

But the embattled Eto has denied any wrongdoing. Responding to the magazine’s enquiry, he said: “It was a production error, not deliberate. The Editor (Martins Oloja) is on leave and I was Acting Editor. The error arose from the use of the imprint with Mr. Martins Oloja as Editor with my name, instead of the one with Acting Editor. I was not queried. I actually queried the Production Editor, who made the initial error of using the old imprint. It is illogical, foolish and self-defeating that in a well-structured company like Guardian Newspapers Ltd, I will deliberately refer to myself as Editor which I am not (I am Deputy Editor), in view of the consequences. It is senseless!”

It is not clear what the management’s final decision on the matter will be.

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