COZA: PUNCH appoints new editors after cartoon saga

Ademola Oni Punch editor

PUNCH newspapers has appointed new editors for its daily and weekend titles following the sack of former occupiers of the positions.

The media organisation had on Tuesday sacked Martin Ayankola and Olabisi Deji-Folutile as daily and Saturday editors respectively over a cartoon which depicted a man urinating on the bible.

Ademola Oni has now been appointed editor of the daily title while Oketola Dayo-Eriye will edit the weekend titles consisting of Saturday and Sunday Punch.

Mr Oni was editor of Sunday PUNCH and Mr Dayo-Eriye assistant editor with Saturday PUNCH before their elevation.

The offensive cartoon for which the former editors were sacked was published on July 4 to illustrate a back page article in The PUNCH written by Abimbola Adelakun with the title “What Does Mrs. Fatoyinbo Know.”

The publication generated displeasure against the newspaper for publishing what many described as disrespectful to the Christian faith.

Mr. Ayankola, who was appointed on December 2012, is the longest-serving editor in the 46 years history of PUNCH newspapers.

He was forced to resign for allegedly bringing the newspaper into disrepute, as Mrs Deji-Folutile was also asked to resign for allegedly playing a role in the publication.

The cartoonist who drew the illustration was also sacked.

Ayankola had only returned from a one-week suspension before the cartoon saga.

The newspaper management had been shopping for Ayankola’s replacement for a while.

Former editor of Sunday PUNCH, Toyosi Ogunseye, had been pencilled down to take over in January 2019.

Ms Ogunseye, who is the first female to be appointed editor in the media organisation, however, left in January 2018 to join the BBC as head of West Africa operations.