Atiku files N2.5bn Libel Suit against Buhari’s Aide Lauretta Onochie
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has carried out his threat to sue President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, for her alleged libelous tweet via her Twitter handle on May 7, 2019.
The post allegedly suggested that Atiku was on the watch list of security operatives in the United Arab Emirates and had traveled to shop for terrorists in the Middle East.
Atiku, through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), filed a N2.5bn suit against Onochie before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja on June 26. “To say that the claimant is shopping for terrorists knowing same to be untrue and without any foundation is not only dishonest and reckless but is calculated and politically designed to instigate security agents against him not only in the UAE but across the world,” he stated in his statement of claim accompanying the suit.
Denying the allegations contained in the said tweet, Atiku said the tweet was “politically orchestrated” “solely to cause maximum damage” to his “high reputation” while challenging “the purported victory” of Onochie’s boss, President Buhari in the last presidential election at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Atiku had in a May 14, 2019 letter, demanded an apology, retraction, and payment of N500m compensation from Onochie “to assuage” the damage allegedly caused him by her social media post. He also threatened to sue her should she fail to accede to the demand “within 48 hours”.