Sunday, 30 June 2019

Libel:Atiku Abubakar Finally Sues Buhari's Media Aide Lauretta Onochie For N2.5bn

A former Nigerian vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, has sued President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on social media, Lauretta Onochie, over an alleged libel and defamation of character.

“To say that the claimant is shopping for terrorists knowing same to be untrue and without any foundation is not only dishonest and reckless, but is calculated and politically designed to instigate security agents against him not only in the UAE, but across the world,” He mentioned filing the suit in the statement.

Ozekhome (SAN), filed a N2.5bn suit against Onochie before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja on June 26 after Onochie failed to apologise to the former VP over a tweet he said was libellous.

Media aide to Atiku, Paul Ibe, confirmed the suit to The Guardian.

“I know that there was development and I want to believe the process (suit) have been advanced. She (Onochie) was asked to withdraw what she said but she refused,” Ibe said.

Onochie drew the ire of Abubakar after accusing him of being on the “watchlist” of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for corruption as well as shopping for terrorists in the Middle East.

Atiku on UAE watchlist- Security sources

Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice Pres Atiku Abubakar who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now

What is he doing there?

Me: Shopping for Terrorists? pic.twitter.com/4EBccZadfi

    — Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) May 7, 2019

She did not provide any evidence for her claims and allegations against Abubakar.

Atiku, who contested and the 2019 presidential election, asked Onochie to issue him a public apology over what he called her defamatory statements.

The PDP presidential candidate asked Onochie to publish a retraction in six national newspapers and one international daily as well as on social media.

Abubakar in a letter through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, threatened to institute a 2 billion Naira suit against Onochie if she did not meet his demands.

Onochie, who appeared not to regret her earlier statements against Atiku, said the former president’s demands are mere plots to distract her from her job with President Buhari whom Abubakar is challenging his election victory at the election tribunal.

Onochie in response to the threat said Atiku was depressed and deserved no apology.

“This is in no way responding to the depressed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar whose aides are constantly cooking up disgrace for him, for the sake of their stomachs, instead of giving him his pills,” Onochie said in a post on her Facebook page.

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