Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has filed a N2.5 billion defamation suit against Lauretta Onochie, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media.
Atiku filed the suit before a federal capital territory (FCT) through Mike Ozekhome (SAN), his counsel. Onochie had tweeted 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”
Denying the allegations contained in the tweet, Atiku said it was “politically orchestrated solely to cause maximum damage to his high reputation” while challenging the victory Buhari in the last presidential election.
“To say that the claimant is shopping for terrorists knowing same to be untrue and without any foundation is not only dishonest and reckless, but is calculated and politically designed to instigate security agents against him not only in the UAE, but across the world,” he said in a statement of claim accompanying the suit.
The presidential candidate of the PDP had demanded an apology, retraction and payment of N500 million compensation from Onochie “to assuage” the damage her social media post caused him.
He had also threatened to sue her should she fail to accede to the demand within 48 hours.
But Onochie did not retract the statement. A development Atiku interpreted to mean that she was unmoved by his demand. He said rather than show remorse, she made another derogatory publication and also published same globally online in the social and other print media against his person, on May 20.
“Atiku on UAE watchlist- Security sources Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice Pres Atiku Abubakar who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now What is he doing there? Me: Shopping for Terrorists?”