Lawmaker demands N3 billion from activist for ‘libellous and defamatory’ tweets

Segun Awosanya, one of the major voices demanding the scrapping of the notorious anti-robbery squad, SARS.

A member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jbrin (APC-Kano), has demanded N3 billion as compensation from an activist, Segun Awosanya (@segalink), for “libellous and defamatory” comments against the lawmaker on his Twitter handle.

Mr Jibrin, who is representing Kirk/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State, in 2016 exposed the budget padding scandal at the National Assembly.

He left the country four weeks after he was suspended by his colleagues in the House for his public comments on the scandal.

In a four-page document signed by his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, on Wednesday, Mr Jibrin, gave Mr Awosanya 14 days to retract the said tweets, pay him N3 billion for damages caused him, and publish a public apology on his twitter handle for seven days.

The said tweets dated October 17 are still available on Mr Awosanya’s wall.

They read:

“Years back I exposed@AbdulAbmJ’s fraudulent antics and his 17 bank accounts local and foreign despite signing a CCB form that he had no foreign account. I showed the world documents and modus of siphoning money from MDAs after appropriation, till date @officialEFCC is mute.

“Is section 7(1) impotent against his likes? Is this not an advanced form of yahoo right within the core of public office? So with all the budget and their new building their boss is using to strengthen the institution, they are powerless against real economic and financial crimes?

“I don’t know how grounded you are at Law. But let me intimate you with this: “Lex non novit patrem, nec matrem; solam veritatem” —The Law knows neither father nor mother; only the TRUTH. Is EFCC a lawful institution with its unethical prevarication & partisanship?”

Mr Olanipekun, on behalf of the lawmaker, said: “The allegations made by Mr Awosanya are untrue, unfounded, unwarranted, and representing, at best, poorly drafted fiction meant to reduce his estimation in the eyes of well-meaning people.”

“You made these allegations without recourse to the veracity of our client’s reputation.

“You are given fourteen (14) days from the date of this letter, within which to comply with our client’s simple demands; otherwise our further instruction is to commence proceedings against you for your defamatory publications against him,” the lawyer wrote in the letter.

Awosanya Reacts

Mr Awosanya told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday afternoon that he would not be intimidated from holding the lawmaker to account. He said he would give a comprehensive response to the letter later on Friday.

“We will do this before the end of the day and you will be first to know. A public officer padding budgets cannot bully or intimidate anyone from holding him to account, regardless of the depth of his connection with the powers that be and those playing dead to his white-collar crimes as widely reported.

‘Thankfully, the court process will reveal the truth based on evidence. You will see our position shortly,” he said.

In a related matter, the appeal court on Friday voided Mr Jibrin’s re-election and ordered a re-run in his constituency.

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