Defamation: Senator threatens legal action against Buhari’s aide sued by Atiku over similar matter

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Lauretta Onochie

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP – Delta North) has threatened to sue Lauretta Onochie, a social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, for defamation.

Recall that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) recently accused the senator of contract fraud to the tune of N3.6 billion.

On Monday, the presidential aide wrote a Facebook post in which she suggested that the senator was guilty of the charges.

In the post titled, ‘NDDC – THE CHICKEN COMES HOME TO ROOST’, Onochie said that the senator had described himself as a “thief” at an event in Anioma, Delta State.

The post read in part, “The contract sum was N3.6 billion. The revelations in the award of the said contract are mind-boggling, disturbing and appalling, as all eleven different companies/business names which were awarded the contract are owned by or traceable to one and the same person being Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, but carrying on business under different names.

“No wonder Sen. Nwaoboshi and his cohorts are jittery about the ongoing forensic audit exercise in the NDDC and are doing everything to derail it.”

Barely 24 hours later, on Tuesday, she got a letter from Nwaoboshi’s lawyers demanding a retraction and an apology within 48 hours.

Failure to do these, the letter said, Onochie would face legal action.

NDDC spokesman, Charles Odili also got a similar letter after he issued a statement in which he claimed that the senator used 11 companies as “fronts to secure for himself N3.6 billion contract in September 2016”. Odili’s Sunday statement further claimed that it was “biggest single case of looting of the commission’s resources”.

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Nwaoboshi has denied the allegations of contract fraud.

The Herald recalls that Onochie is presently in court over another case of alleged defamation of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. She had claimed that Atiku was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) “shopping for terrorists”.

 

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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