Delta State senator, Peter Nwaoboshi, has dragged Lauretta Onochie, a presidential aide, and Charles Odili, the spokesperson of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), before the high courts in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Delta state for alleged defamation of character.
Ms Onochie and Mr Odili are being accused of “falsely” accusing the senator of contract fraud.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Nwaoboshi who was recently accused of contract fraud by NDDC threatened to sue Ms Onochie, a social media assistant at the State House, demanding a retraction and apology over a social media post he considers defamatory.
Mr Nwaoboshi’s lawyers wrote a letter to Ms Onochie last Tuesday, asking her to retract her post or face legal action for suggesting that the senator is guilty of contract fraud alleged by the NDDC in a post she made on her Facebook page.
This is not the first time the outspoken aide will be engaged in controversies over online posts.
A similar letter was also sent to Mr Odili, the NDDC spokesperson, who issued the statement accusing the senator of using 11 companies as “fronts to secure for himself N3.6 billion contract in September 2016”.
According to the statement issued last Sunday by Mr Odili, the contract was the “biggest single case of looting of the commission’s resources”.
After denying any involvement in the contract fraud, Mr Nwaoboshi appeared to have made good his threat by instituting legal action against the presidential aide and the spokesperson.
According to separate ‘writ of summons’ prepared by Mr Nwaoboshi’s lawyers, Daniel Bwala Chambers, and seen by PREMIUM TIMES, both Ms Onochie and Mr Odili are being asked to pay varying degrees of fines as damages for ‘libel’.
“An order of this Honorable court directing the defendant to publicly apologize to the claimant for the said false and misleading publication of June 8th and any other post on her social media platforms against the claimant”, read the summon instituted against Ms Onochie bearing stamps of the FCT high court and that of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) dated 15/06/2020.
When contacted, Ms Onochie said she is yet to be served with the summons.
On another hand, the lawmaker demands a combined fine of N1.5 billion from Mr Odili as damages.
“The claimant claims against the defendant, N5million as damages for libel for the press statement”, read the general writ submitted at the high court of Delta State stamped and dated 15/16/2020.
The suit also carries N5million each as damages for the publications of the press statements on the Sun Newspaper and its online version.
Mr Odili did not respond to calls Tuesday seeking to know if he has been served with the court summons.
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