Dear NVS,

My attention has been brought to Mr. Kennedy Emetulu's article 'Presidential Fireflies and Tales by Moonlight' in which he made some reference to me. My response to the piece is to state that Mr. Emetulu may very well be a concerned patriot who might have been overzealous for his nation causing him to overlook certain inaccuracies in his piece.

For one, he writes that I am a kinsman of both President Jonathan and Mr. Oronto Douglas. This is not true. I am not even from the same state as the President or Mr. Douglas neither are we of the same ethnic nationality.

Mr. Emetulu further states that I was a "dogsbody" to Malam Nasir El-Rufai. The truth is that I have never worked for Malam El-Rufai. As Malam El-Rufai himself will acknowledge and has indeed acknowledged in the past, we became friends during the period he was being persecuted by the Yar'adua administration and I assisted him defend himself. I have never worked under him. Together, Malam Nasir and myself have collaborated on a number of Civil Society and youth oriented projects and we have an excellent relationship.

Mr. Emetulu further wrote that I"When the decision was taken to muscle in on the internet, no expense was spared as the Jonathan people went for top of the international range in Joe Trippi" and that "Mr Omokri, who was no more than a general dogsbody to Nasir El-Rufai, a former Minister under the Olusegun Obasanjo government was wheeled in to work with Trippi's firm, Trippi & Associates and just so they legitimise his presence there, he was given the fanciful position on paper of Vice President in the firm."

This is not true. The fact is that I have been a staff of Trippi and Associates since 2006 BEFORE the Yar'adua administration came into being. Before then I was a friend of Joe Trippi. Together, Trippi and I have worked on multiple campaigns in Africa. In evidence, I have attached to this email a Judicially notarised letter issued under penalty of perjury and dating back from 2007. I have also attached a photo of Joe Trippi and I taken in 2006 in California while Mr. Trippi was campaign manager to Mr. Jerry Brown, now the governor of the state of California.

Before then, I worked at the Aso Rock Presidential villa in the office of the Vice President and before then, I worked as a 'Temp' worker at the British House of Commons. I still have my photo ID card from every place where I have worked.

I am inclined to believe that Mr. Emetulu got his information from second hand sources hence his errors. If he had contacted me, I would have provided him with these information.

I thank you for your time, I wish Mr. Emetulu no ill and I have every respect for saharareporters but only appeal to them to use caution while reporting on the recent Nigerian elections so as not to inflame passions that may eventually lead to blood shed.

Regards,

Reno.

Trippi_Affidavit