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Atiku demands written apology, N500m from Buhari’s aide over alleged defamation

PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

A former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has demanded N500million and a written apology from an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, for “spreading lies capable of damaging” his reputation on the social media.

Atiku, in a letter signed by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said he would sue Onochie for N2billion damages if she fails to meet his demands.

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He added that he would pursue a criminal charge against her if “there occurs any further malicious and libellous publication” against him.

In the letter, the presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections referred to a post on Onochie’s Twitter handle where she reportedly stated: ‘Atiku on UAE watch list – Security Sources.’

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“We have our client’s instructions to demand and we hereby demand from you the following: That you publish and tender a written retraction and apology for the said libellous publication in six national dailies circulating in Nigeria and one international daily as well as on all social media platforms wherein the said publication was made.

“That you pay to our client through the firm, the sum of N500,000,000 only, representing minimal damages to assuage his already battered image wholly caused by your said defamatory publication.

“Take notice that if you fail or refuse to accede to our modest demands within the next 48 hours from the date of this letter, we shall be compelled to activate the full weight of the legal machinery against you without any further recourse to you.

“We shall be, in such a suit, claiming against you the sum of N2bn, representing exemplary aggravated and punitive damages,” the letter reads in part.

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