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Emefiele threatens to slam Akpabio with N25bn defamation suit

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has threatened to sue the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio N25 billion over alleged defamation of character.

Emefiele through his lawyer Matthew Burkaa, SAN, in a letter addressed to the Senate President, demanded an unreserved apology in writing, published and circulated by the same medium with which he allegedly defamed his character and the sum of N25 billion as reasonable compensation for the willful and unjustifiable denigration of his reputation.

Recall that Senator Akpabio on Channels Television recently accused the former CBN governor of printing naira notes without income and possessing first arms.

Emefiele’s lawyer said the statement credited to the Senate President means that his client is “the cause of the entire hardship in Nigeria today is as a result of the policies of the previous administration.

“A serial offender whose action is responsible for all the hardship experienced by Nigerians today.

“A person who has committed offences that are so numerous that the government is confused as to which of the offences to prefer a charge against him”.

The letter however said “Your Excellency, as the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you certainly know, or have reasons to know that the Federal Government of Nigeria had since the 14th August, 2023 preferred Charges against Our Client to which he had long pleaded not guilty and is presently defending same to exonerate himself and show that he is not guilty of the said allegations.

“It is therefore disturbing, that such a statement would be made by the Head of the Legislature of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on a matter that is clearly subjudice. Your statement, with the greatest respect, clearly undermines the honour and integrity of the Court and its independence and indeed has the propensity of prejudicing the case against Our Client.

“Having submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court, it is only fair and proper that the Court should be allowed to determine the issues submitted to it without unnecessary pressure from any other arm of Government.

“Secondly Sir, as a Senior member of the Bar, a former Governor of a State, A Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and former Minister under the immediate past Administration, Your statement attributing the present economic woes of the country solely on Our Client is most appalling and exposes the inaccuracies in Your assertions, especially, as you were a major player in the immediate Past Administration and worked closely with Our Client and indeed witnessed the innovations he introduced in the banking sector and its impact on the economy whilst in office, as well as the role he played despite all odds in salvaging Nigeria in the P & ID Saga and the positive result it brought for Nigeria”.

Furthermore, the letter reminded the Senate President that no single policy was carried out by Emefiele without the approval, directive or authorization of the President and/or the Federal Executive Council of which he was a member.

“It is pursuant to the above and without delving into the matter presently pending in Court that Our Client has instructed that we write to Your good offices and demand the immediate retraction of Your statement which has gone viral and are considered clearly defamatory of Our Client

“These baseless and false allegations clearly defames the character of Our Client and has also caused him great pains and embarrassment as it has lowered his esteem before the right thinking members of the Society in addition to the obvious odium and opprobrium from the unsuspecting members of the Society as a result of the falsity contained in that statement.

“We therefore have Our Client’s further instruction to demand from you an unreserved apology in writing, published and circulated by the same medium with which you have defamed his character and the sum of Twenty-Five Billion Naira (N25,000,000,000) as reasonable compensation for the willful and unjustifiable denigration of his hard earned reputation. In the event that you fail, refuse or neglect to comply with this legitimate demand, Our Client will be at liberty to seek the appropriate redress available to him under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, the letter added.

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