From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Ex-Chief Security Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Mr. Haruna Yusuf Abiona, has demanded for the sum of N3.6 billion from the Edo State Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Col. David Imuse, (rtd) and three others for alleged libel.
In a letter signed by his Counsel, Ainabeholo Oseikhuemen, Haruna asked the APC chieftains: Imuse, Tony Kabaka Adun, Emperor Jarret Tenebe, State Deputy Chairman, Edo North and Adams Ehigiamusoe Shaba, President, Professional Drivers on Wheel, to tender apology and retraction of the defamatory statements and publications against him within 14 days.
He threatened to sue Kabaka and Shaba for defamation in the sum of N300 million each; Tenebe and Imuse for N1 billion and N2 billion respectively should they fail to retract the offending publication.
In the letter dated February 19, 2021, Haruna claimed that the four APC leaders published various malicious statements against him “on the Internet and other social media platforms both in the prints and broadcasting media stations.
“Some of the false and malicious publications are that you falsely describe our client, Haruna Yusuf Abiona as the mastermind behind the mayhem and terror unleashed at the front of the palace of the Oba of Benin”.
Besides, the letter said the four politicians also “stated that Haruna Yusuf Abiona is blood thirsty who introduce banditry n Edo Politics, falsely claiming that our client is issuing death threats and physical assault to members of APC” and that Haruna, in connivance with the Edo State Government, plotted to “stage an attack on their own convoy specifically that of the deputy governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu in a bid to draw sympathy before the last governorship elections”.
“The above false and malicious publication deliberately made by you in various media platforms, widely circulated in the whole world with millions of people accessing such platforms for the purpose of tarnishing our client’s image, reducing him to an irresponsible, violent and wicked person in the minds of the public as a retired senior police officer and a top government official”, the letter said.
Haruna, therefore, asked the APC chieftains to, within 14 days of service of the letter, ” retract the said false and malicious publications through six (6) national dailies circulating in Nigeria, social media platforms and broadcasting stations where the malicious publications were made and tender a letter of apology”.