By ‘Dotun Akintomide
Over alleged defamation of character, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has filed a suit at a Lagos High Court, against The Sun newspapers.
Magu, in a statement of claims, signed by his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, wants the court to declare that the story published in Saturday Sun of March 25, 2017, which talked about two houses allegedly linked to his wife, defamed him.
Magu also criticized the court for declaring “an order for publication of apology, retraction and rebuttal of the libelous material by defendants on the front page of the Saturday Sun newspaper for seven consecutive editions of the newspaper and two other major newspapers for seven consecutive days.”
In his further prayers, the EFCC Acting Chairman wants the court to place an order of “perpetual injunction restraining the newspaper or their cronies, group of people, association or anyone, however, called through the defendants or any newspaper/magazine, from further publishing or disseminating the libelous materials or similar one against the claimant forthwith.”
He urged the court to award, “damages in the sum of N100 million only against the defendants and in favour of the claimant.”
Shittu had earlier in March written a letter threatening to sue The Sun for N5bn if it didn’t retract its story.
Recall the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) had on Monday in a statement signed by its President, Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman and publisher of Thisday Newspapers condemned the EFCC invasion of The Sun, calling it an affront on the Nigerian media.
In the statement which was made available to The New Diplomat, NPAN said EFCC officials were there on a vengeance and intimidation mission to settle scores on several stories published by the newspaper on the activities of EFCC and its boss, Magu.
“Although the EFCC said they were there to enforce a 10-year old Interim Order of Forfeiture on the shareholding of Sun Newspapers, the Editors of the Sun Newspapers said the EFCC officials were there on a vengeance and intimidation mission to settle scores on several stories published by the newspaper, including the alleged ownership of certain properties by the wife of the EFCC Acting Chairman for which the Acting Chairman had threatened libel lawsuits.
“Instead of lawsuits, the EFCC operatives raided the newspaper offices to revive a 10-year old Interim Order of Forfeiture that is already before an appellate court,” NPAN said.