In a case of hunter becoming the haunted, Femi Otedola, the embattled businessman in the eye of a $620,000 sting operation, has instituted a N250bn libel suit against the National Assembly; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; and the lawmaker, Farouk Lawan.
Otedola is asking Justice Peter Kekemeke of an Abuja High Court, to order the respondents to pay him the sum for the loss of goodwill and patronage he suffered as a result of their actions in the course of a probe into the management of fuel subsidy regime in the country.
Otedola and his company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, told the court that their reputation and business image had suffered grave injuries resulting in the substantial loss of goodwill, built over the years, because of the actions of the defendants.
Otedola and his company said they would rely on all call logs and audio-visual records of conversations and meetings with Lawan to prove the case.
An intense public altercation had played out between Otedola and Lawan few months back with the businessman accusing Lawan of demanding and collecting the sum of US$620,000 as part payment of a $3m bribe for exoneration deal in a House of Representatives Ad-Hoc committee verification into fuel subsidy payments.
Lawan was the former chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee mandated to verify the subsidy payments.
While Lawan claimed that he actually received the sum as evidence against the oil marketer, who he said wanted to bribe him to alter the findings of the committee, Otedola insisted that he gave the cash to the lawmaker in line with a sting operation aimed at exposing Lawan’s demand for bribe.
The Federal Government has yet to commence prosecution in the case, even as the police force, which was mandated to investigate the matter, has not located the controversial bribe money.
It is not yet clear whether the government will prosecute Lawan alone, or together with Otedola. The country’s statute says both the giver and taker of bribe are guilty.
In Otedola’s suit filed by his lawyer, Mr. Babajide Koku, SAN, the businessman is asking an Abuja High Court to order Lawan, Tambuwal, the Clerk and the National Assembly, 1st to 4th defendants respectively, to pay him the combined sum of N250bn as damages.
The N250bn involves two categories of damages – N100bn as “general damages for the acts of intimidation, loss of goodwill and patronage occasioned by the acts of the defendants” and N150bn “as exemplary damages for their oppressive and arbitrary action.”
At the mention of the case on Thursday, the plaintiffs and the defendants were represented in court by their counsel.
The defence counsel, Mr. Kehinde Oguniwuniju of Afe Babalola Chambers, objected to the hearing of the suit by the Abuja High Court, arguing that it was only the Federal High Court that has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Kekemeke, however, ordered the parties to exchange processes and return on November 23, 2012, the next adjourned date in the matter.
Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.
The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.
Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.
The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”
Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun!
My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer in sha Allah. May Allah forgive & be Merciful to her.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) November 23, 2020
Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.
The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.
The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.
Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.
He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.
Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims
Governor of Zamafara, Bello Matawalle has announced the release of 11 kidnapped victims.
According to reports, ten of the victims were male and a female from Bukkuyum Local Government Area.
Matawalle received the rescued kidnapped victims on Saturday night at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.
The Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Muhammed Dauran revealed that the victims were released without paying a ransom.
He stated they were released as a result of the peace initiative and stakeholders meeting summoned by Governor Matawalle with all critical stakeholders from Bukkuyum Local Government Area on Thursday.
Governor Matawalle assured that his administration will not rest on its oars until total peace is achieved in all parts of the state.
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