Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has demanded N1 billion as damages from an online publication over a report accusing him of transferring billions of naira to a company, Brass Engineering and Construction Nigeria Ltd.
The report titled: “Exclusive: Bank documents expose how Governor Umahi transferred billions to his company from Ebonyi treasury” was published by Peoples Gazette on January 29.
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In a letter dated February 1, 2021 by his lawyer, Chukwuma Machukwu-Ume (SAN), Umahi also demanded within seven days an apology and retraction from the online medium which would be aired over AIT, Youtube and other internet/social media network “where the publications were aired as well as two national dailies”.
Umahi said the medium should have obtained information about governance in Ebonyi from the state website: http://www.ebonyistate.gov.ng before making its publication.
“We certainly concede to your constitutional right to criticize your government or any government for that matter for any wrongdoing and or criminal behaviour. In any case, you have a duty to do so within the province and stipulation of the Constitution and Rule of Law i.e. with true and verifiable facts void of any personal or political malice.
“For instance, from your publication, it is certain that you have arrogated to yourself the prerogative of being a supervisor to investigations concluded by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Even from your said claimed record at Corporate Affairs Commission, it could be you have your own Commission and not the one established by our law.
“Come what may, all you said in all the allegations in your publications of January 29, 2021 and January 30, 2021 are lies, unfounded, frivolous, baseless and malicious both in facts and in law.”