Army General threatens lawsuit against EFCC, media house over alleged wrong publication

Onyechi Ikpeazu, the lawyer to Major General Jafaru Mohammed has threatened to sue a national daily over a report of an Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) case.

The Army General, working in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), had been accused of perpetrating fraud and purchasing properties.

Onyechi Ikpeazu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said Mohammed’s name was damaged after a Federal High Court verdict was wrongly communicated.

In February, Justice Nkeonye Evelyn Maha delivered the judgment following an ex-parte application by the EFCC.

The commission told the court that the late General Aminu Maude, his proxies and associates acquired N3 billion assets from proceeds of unlawful activities.

“I observed that the name of General Jafaru Mohammed was never mentioned in the originating ex-parte application and the respondent (EFCC) did not rebut this fact.

“It is clear that General Jafaru is not on trial here and the Court has not been asked to decide his guilt or innocence in this case”, the judge said.

Ikpeazu noted that a particular reportage of the ruling, which linked the forfeited properties to his client, was false and malicious.

Advertisement

The SAN said if there was no retraction, they would be compelled to file a defamation suit in any appropriate court of law.

“The pictorial representation conveys unfounded information that Late General Aminu Muade, Atlasfield Integrated Services Nigeria Limited, Marhaba Events Place, Aflac Plastics and Atlasfield Gas Plant Limited are proxies of our client.

“This allegation is not contained in the judgment or the media releases issued by Wilson Uwujaren, the Public Relations Officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“This false and malicious publication has caused serious damage to our client’s reputation and good name amongst his peers, family members, associates, and colleagues who revere and accord him great respect.”

Noting that the story was a faux pas meant to tarnish Mohammed’s image, Ikpeazu demanded the publication of a letter of apology in 10 print and online newspapers.

Advertisement