Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday , appeared at the registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, to sign and file his deposition in support of the N2.5billion libel suit which he instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, earlier in June this year.
Pictures of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the last presidential election with his lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and others in the legal team were sent to journalists yesterday .
In one of the pictures, Atiku was seen seated while holding a pen above a white paper with Ozekhome bent over the table beside him.
In the caption accompanying the pictures, Ozekhome stated, “Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, today, at the Central Registry of the FCT, High Court, Maitama, Abuja, with his client, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa.
“The former Vice President was physically at the Registry to sign his witness deposition (on oath) before the Commissioner for Oaths, on the case he instituted against Lauretta Onochie.
“The Waziri is claiming amongst others, the sum of N2.5 bn only, from the Presidential Assistant on Social Media, as general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages against her.
“Atiku is claiming this sum from her for her defamatory story published on her twitter handle and Facebook page, in which she stated that Atiku was on the UAE watch list, as a wanted man, asking, ‘shopping for terrorists?’”
Atiku had, on June 26, 2019, instituted the suit against Onochie for her alleged libelous tweet against him via her twitter handle on May 7, 2019.
The tweet allegedly suggested that Atiku was on the watch list of security operatives in the United Arab Emirates and had travelled to shop for terrorists in the Middle East.
He prayed the court in the suit marked CV/2287/19, to order Onochie to pay him the N2.5bn as “general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages over the untold embarrassment, derision, public ridicule, odium, obloquy, marital disharmony, mental agony and psychological trauma which the defendant’s publications have caused the claimant.”
Denying the allegations in the said tweet, Atiku said it 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.
The presidential candidate of the PDP in the February 23, 2019 poll had, through a May 14, 2019 letter signed by Ozekhome, demanded from Onochie an apology, a retraction of the said post and a payment of N500m compensation to him ”to assuage” the damage allegedly done to him by her social media post.
He also threatened to sue her should she fail to accede to the demand “within 48 hours”.
Justifying his suit, Atiku stated in his statement of claim accompanying his suit, that rather than show “remorse by retracting her earlier publication”, she further, on May 20, made “another derogatory publication and also published same online in the social and other print media” against his person.”
‘IAUE’s Post Graduate School’ll Be A Class Of Its Own’
On completion of the Post Graduate School Complex of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Rumuolumeni, the complex will be in a class of its own in Nigeria.
Making this Known recently, during the colloquium held in honour of late Chief Emmanuel W. Aguma, at the auditorium of the university, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, said the facilities at the graduate school are all state-of-the art.
“The Postgraduate school is where we are working very hard to make a difference. We are just three years old, but we have dwarfed and overtaken most of the older Universities around us in postgraduate studies.
“Whereas most of the universities around us have no separate classrooms for graduate programmes, we have built 16 new postgraduate classrooms fitted with modern, Wi-Fi, air- conditioners, and small boards, all within the three years of our administration”, he said.
He continued that “When the complex is ready, our postgraduate school will pride as the best accommodated and the most well equipped in Nigeria in terms of infrastructure”. Prof. Ndimele used the occasion to thank the Aguma family for contributing a 10 lecture halls building to the graduate school in their pursuit of academic excellence.
“ It is gratifying to note that today’s ceremony is in two phases: The first phase is what we are doing now, that is the colloquium, where experts and close associates of the late Chief Emmanuel W. Aguma have been assembled to present on the life and times of the legend himself and much more.
“The second phase of today’s event is the ground breaking ceremony for the proposed Chief Emmanuel Aguma Post Graduate Complex, comprising 10 lecture halls, a language laboratory and offices at the New Haven Layout of the main campus.
“All these are courtesy of the Late Chief Emmanuel Aguma’s family to further immortalise their son, husband and father. We cannot thank the family enough”, he said.
In his presentation, as one of the guest speakers at the colloquium, Chief Emmanuel Aguma delved into the life and times of the Late Aguma from the political perspective.
The life and times and achievement of Sir Aguma is no doubt very important references to the younger generation.
“I have taken pains to go through all these for younger generation to know that here in Rebisi, God Almighty had created a rare human being who realised that mandate of a people is a sacred commission to serve with honour, integrity and truth”, he stated.
Late Chief Emmanuel Aguma was the first provost of the College of Education, which metamorphosed into Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
RATTAWU Wants Regularisation Of Casual Workers’ Appointment In S’ South
The South-South National Vice President of RATTAWU, Comrade Christian Saro Gonole, has called for the regularisation of the appointment of all casual workers in the services of state owned media and cultural outfits across the South-South Zone.
South-South National Vice President of RATTAWU Comrade Christian Saro Gonole made the call at the 8th Triennial Delta State Delegates Conference of the Union in Asaba.
Comrade Christain Saro Gonole who described the continuous casualisation of its members as a direct rape on the right of employment called for the understanding of respective state Governments in the South-South Zone in the regularisation of the casual workers with dispatch.
The South-South RATTAWU leader said the engagement of a casual worker more than three months tantamount to the denial of the affected worker of his right to gainful employment and violates extant labour laws.
Insecurity, Killings In Nigeria, Worrisome -Catholic Bishop
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has decried the spate of killings across the country.
The Bishop made a call for the establishment of local and state security organs to tackle security challenges in all parts of the country.
Bishop Ezeokafor made the call in a homily he delivered recently, during the burial Mass of late Mrs Rebecca Mgboye Amatu (mother of the Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese, Most Rev Solomon Amatu), at St Simon’s Catholic Church, Ukpo, Anambra State.
He said there was urgent need for local security apparatus in all the six regions and the 36 states of Nigeria in order to augment the federal security.
He said, “We regret the recent murder of the former chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Mr Lawan Andimi, by suspected terrorists. We regret that the sacredness of human life had been ridiculed in this country.”
“The manner in which Mr Andimi was butchered is inhuman. The sacredness of the human life had been desecrated. Human beings are being slaughtered regularly by terrorists who are suspected to have targeted the Christians. Security of life and property can no longer be guaranteed in Nigeria. Worse still is that the Federal Government has not been able to address the menace of insecurity,” the bishop stated.
He said the Federal Government ought to support the local security apparatus like Amotekun instituted by governors of the West so as to ensure that optimum security was maintained. This was even as he called for effective local security system in other regions of Nigeria.
Bishop Ezeokafor recalled how two priests of the Catholic Diocese of Awka were kidnapped in Ondo State and were rescued, using the Anambra State Government’s security apparatus,.
He praised Anambra as being relatively safe, compared to other states of the federation.
He commended Gov Obiano of Anambra State and stressed the need for such good security network to be replicated in other states of Nigeria.
The Catholic prelate called on the government at all levels to provide enabling environment for security of life and property, as well as the necessary amenities the masses needed to enjoy their lives.
He said any government that was unable to better the lives of its citizens should surrender governance.
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