Otiji Iyiogwe

Diezani slams N100bn libel suit against AGF, EFCC 

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A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has filed a libel suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

In the suit marked CV/6273/2023, the former petroleum boss is accusing the first and second defendants – the EFCC and the AGF – of writing and publishing “false and defamatory reports about her of being a corrupt, dishonest…degenerate, decadent public officer.”

In a writ of summons filed at the Federal High court, Abuja on May 26, 2023, through her team of lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Madueke said her integrity and character which are of “paramount importance to the success of her political endeavours…” has been wantonly smeared as a result of the publications.

Citing many of such publications made on the website of the anti-graft agency and other news sites the ex-minister stated that the “websites …continue to host the libellous publications in permanent form …and are being accessed and read in every part of the world through the Google search engines.

She said, “The false and unfounded publications made against the claimant by the 1st and 2nd defendants and contained in the 1st defendant’s online defamatory publications against the claimant were also circulated and disseminated to the whole world on internet website pages and in various links…”

She denied completely the allegations made by the defendants against her adding that they were born out of malice.

Among other negative impacts of the reports, she averred that upon reading the online and hard copy publications, she was gravely shocked and exasperated.

As a result, she is demanding that the court orders the EFCC and the AGF to retract the publications and tender an unreserved apology to her in three national newspapers “for the false, injurious, malicious and libellous publications” against her since 2015 when she left the country.

Furthermore, she is seeking a declaration by the court that the various publications on the EFCC website and other media houses are injurious to her personality and did as intended lower her reputation in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria and also brought her ” into public ridicule, odium, contempt, derision and obloquy.”

Consequently, she is praying for an order restraining the defendants from further distributing or in any form or manner, the same or similar offensive libellous materials or stories of or concerning her.

“An order directing the defendants jointly and severally to pay to the claimant the sum of N100,000,000,000.00 (100 billion naira) only as damages for the false, injurious, malicious and libellous publications against the claimant in the 1st defendant’s publishing platform, and at the instance of both the 1st and the 2nd Defendants.’

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