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Alleged Defamation: MKO Abiola’s Widow Drags IGP, Others To Court, Seeks N100bn Damages

Prof. Zainab Duke-Abiola, one of the widows of late business mogul and politician, Chief MKO Abiola, has sued the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for alleged defamation of character.

Others joined in the suit filed at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, were the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Alkali and Teju Moses.

Prof. Abiola, through her lawyer, Mr. Tawo Tawo, SAN, in her Statement of Claims, accused the Police of framing her up on September 20, 2022 of allegedly assaulting a policewoman, Teju Moses, who was her Police Orderly.

According to her, the IGP in a bid to cover up some major bribery and corruption in the Nigeria Police, used Ibrahim to frame her up which caused so much damage to her reputation.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/2370/2022, Abiola claimed that her personality and image had been irredeemably battered by the defamation and assassination of character which had diminished her status in the society.

The plaintiff further averred that the incident caused her so much damage, trauma, ill-health and reduced her standing and recognition in the global society bearing in mind the fact that they had attained international reputation.

She claimed that the publication in print, electronic and social media as well national dailies by the Police against her person had lowered her estimation in the eyes of right-thinking members of the society.

“Contrary to the defamatory statement in the print and electronic media as well as online media, I never assaulted my former orderly neither did I instruct anyone else to do so.

“Such an incident never took place in my house as there are CCTV cameras all over the street surroundings to debunk the claim.

“Contrary to the allegations, I have never asked the former orderly to carry out any domestic chores as sophisticated robot machines like Alexa are installed in the palace.

“I was never a suspect but a victim of a frame up by the defendants,’’ she said.

She added that that the acts of the defendants were libelous, scandalous, slanderous and defamatory by calling her unprintable names both in the conventional and social media.

The plaintiff also averred that she was the serving Chief Legal Consultant of the Nigeria Police Force, adding that she was pleading and relying on all relevant material and documents pertaining to the suit.

Prof. Abiola in her Writ of Summons prayed the court for a declaration that the act of the Police against her caused her nightmares as she was in constant fear for her life.

The plaintiff, therefore, asked the court to order the defendants to pay her the sum of N100 billion as damages.

She said the amount was for defamation, shame, ridicule, harassment, trauma, humiliation and public embarrassment allegedly meted out to her by the Police.

She also asked the court for an order directing the defendants to tender an unreserved public apology in all print and electronic media.

“An order of court directing the defendants to issue a press statement retracting the assertions they made earlier.

“An order of court directing the defendants to pay the plaintiffs the sum of N100 billion as damages for the defamation, shame, ridicule, harassment, trauma, humiliation and public embarrassment suffered by the plaintiffs.

“An order of court directing the defendants to pay the sum of N100 million as the cost of this suit.

“An order of this court directing the defendants to pay the sum of N1 billion as general damages.

“An award of 10 per cent interest on the judgment sum from the date of judgment until final liquidation of the judgment,’’ she added.

The case has been fixed for February 28, 2023.

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