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‘Defamation’: Emefiele threatens to sue Akpabio

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has threatened to sue the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, over alleged defamation. According to…

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has threatened to sue the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, over alleged defamation.

According to his solicitors, Emefiele would demand N25 billion in damages from the Senate President if he fails to apologise.

This was contained in a letter signed by the former CBN governor’s lead counsel, Matthew Burkaa, SAN, and addressed to Senator Akpabio on Emefiele’s brief and instruction.

The controversy stems from comments aired on Channels Television around February 18, 2024, where Akpabio accused Emefiele of damaging the economy.

Akpabio had said: “We don’t know what crime to charge emefiele with.

“So the kind of debt and the kind of economic mess that we are in, a lot of people do not understand, I remember President Obama saying you cannot know Washington until you get to Washington.

“So by the time we went in to look at the economic state of the country, it was terrible, so the Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria we didn’t even know what to charge him, whether to charge him for putting foam on the … or to charge him for illegal possession of firearms or to charge him for printing notes without income, I don’t know what we are going to charge him with. But, what I know is that, yes there is hunger today because of the policies that they took.”

In his letter to the Senate President, Emefiele said Akpabio had, in his statement, suggested that “The cause of the entire hardship in Nigeria today is as a result of the policies of the previous administration.”

It also said it portrayed Emefiele as “A serial offender whose action is responsible for all the hardship experienced by Nigerians today.”

“You are also aware that no single policy was carried out by Our Client without the approval, directive or authorization of the President and/or the Federal Executive Council of which you were a key and powerful member.

“It is pursuant to the above and without delving into the matter presently pending in Court that Our Client has instructed that we write to Your good offices and demand the immediate retraction of Your statement which has gone viral and are considered clearly defamatory of Our Client

“These baseless and false allegations clearly defames the character of Our Client and has also caused him great pains and embarrassment as it has lowered his esteem before the right thinking members of the Society in addition to the obvious odium and opprobrium from the unsuspecting members of the Society as a result of the falsity contained in that statement.

“We therefore have Our Client’s further instruction to demand from you an unreserved apology in writing, published and circulated by the same medium with which you have defamed his character and the sum of Twenty-Five Billion Naira (N25,000,000,000) as reasonable compensation for the willful and unjustifiable denigration of his hard earned reputation.

“In the event that you fail, refuse or neglect to comply with this legitimate demand, Our Client will be at liberty to seek the appropriate redress available to him under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Whilst anticipating your compliance with the above, kindly accept the assurances of our best regards,” the letter read in part.

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