The BBC says everyone who works on its Africa Eye investigation gets credit without exception to the explosive sex-for-grades documentary released in 2019.
BBC World Service’s publicist Marina Forsythe said the only exception is sequel to security considerations.
Her statement opposes claims by a BBC reporter Ogechi Obidiebube that the story was “hijacked” from her and given to a freelancer Kiki Mordi.
“Every Africa Eye investigation is a team effort and this has been key to the success and impact of our films. Everyone sufficiently involved in an investigation is given appropriate credit and the only exception is when there are security considerations,” Forsythe told Premium Times.
A source told the online newspaper that a freelancer who had no problem with revealing her identity was brought in because of the threats some BBC staff got after the ‘Sweet Codeine’ investigation revealing drug abuse problem in Nigeria.
BBC insiders also confirmed to it that Obidiebube was credited in the documentary using the pseudonym “Kemi Alabi”.
But the accolades and awards which have not stopped pouring on Mordi as the star of the story continues to open wounds.
A source said Obidiebube’s name was deliberately removed due to some internal politics in BBC, alleging that one of the top executives was particular about not giving Obidiebube credits for the job done even before the documentary was eventually released.
The source also alleged that the move caused a furore in the BBC office to the point that the organisation specifically sent Obidiebube a letter of commendation to pacify her after the issue had escalated.
It has also been alleged that sex was exchanged for byline in the documentary which sought to expose sexual harassment in Nigerian and Ghanaian varsities.
On Sunday, Obidiebube tweeted, asking for people’s opinion on cyanide and ricin, two poisonous substances.
“cyanide or ricin?” she asked.
About 35 minutes later, she posted a video of herself crying and begging for forgiveness “for what I’m about to do.”
“We are deeply concerned about the welfare of our colleague Ogechi Obidiebube. Ogechi is receiving treatment in hospital and we are providing as much support as we can to her and her family. We request that people respect their privacy at this difficult time,” BBC told the online newspaper.