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NDDC PROBE: A senator from Delta State threatens to sue Buhari’s aide for calling him ‘thief’ on social media

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The Senator representing Delta North senatorial district in the 9th Nigerian Senate, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, has threatened via a letter from his lawyer, to drag the Senior Special Assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, to Court over alleged libel.

Senator Nwaoboshi’s Solicitors, who are Bwala and Co of the Crystal Chambers and Daniel Hassan Bwala of Lincoln’s Inn London, in the letter dated 9th June 2020, and addressed to Mrs Onochie, listed all her alleged infractions.

Nwaoboshi’s Solicitors, while listing the alleged infractions on the letter titled: “Defamatory Publication by you against the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, gave Mr Onochie a 48-hours ultimatum to retract all disparaging comments allegedly made against him as regards contracts from NDDC or face imminent litigation.

The letter reads in part: “We are Solicitors to Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, Chairman Senate Committee on NDDC, hereinafter called “Our Client”, on whose instructions we write you on the relative above.

“Our Client informed us and we verily believe him that on the 8th day of June 2020, you posted/published a defamatory article on your Facebook page (Lauretta Onochie) against our client captioned “NDDC- THE CHICKEN COMES HOME TO ROOST” appearing on your page as follows;

“I was at an event in his hometown when he spoke in our Anioma language, declaring himself a thief. I am an Ada Anioma. I was raised in Anioma land. We do not take what belongs to others, let alone pride ourselves in being thieves.

“The question Senator Nwaoboshi has refused to answer is to tell Niger Delta citizens and Nigerians his role in the award of contracts for the provision of 4,800 plastic desks and chairs for primary/secondary schools in nine (9) states of the Niger Delta in 2016 with award of contract letters dated 22nd September 2016.

“The contract sum was for N3.6 Billion Naira. The revelations in the award of the said contract are mind-boggling, disturbing and appalling, using eleven different companies and business names which were awarded the contract are owned by or traceable to the same person being Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi.

“That our client believes that this publication by you against him is meant to ridicule his image all because you occupy an important position in the government of President Buhari concerning social media. So that whatever you posted or shared should be taken as the position of the President and therefore your post/publications would be believed by others,” the solicitors assert.

“Consequent upon your unsubstantiated allegations against, our client, he demands that you publish/post a retraction on all your social media platforms and tender an unreserved apology to him within forty-eight hours from the day of delivery of this letter.

“Take note that if you cannot comply with the demands as stated above, we have our client’s instructions to take legal action against you without further recourse to you.

A stitch in time saves nine”, the letter concludes.

Meanwhile, the threat to drag Mrs Onochie to Court came as Nigerian Senate directed security agencies to probe an allegation of forgery by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, seeking the investigation of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

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