The Buhari Campaign Organisation, BCO, has instituted a N40million libel suit against the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, accusing him of defaming President Muhammadu Buhari and his family.
President Buhari was cited as the 2nd Plaintiff in the suit that was lodged before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. The Plaintiffs are praying the court to compel the PDP flag-bearer to pay damages for alleging that President Buhari and members of his family own substantial shares in 9mobile and Keystone Bank.
The BCO, in the suit that has Atiku’s aide, Mr. Phrank Shaibu as the 1st defendant, insisted that the claim was not only false, but highly libelous. The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that “the 1st Defendant (Phrank Shaibu) on behalf and for the 2nd Defendant (Atiku) neglectfully, unlawfully and recklessly permitted and caused to be published in Newspapers, defamatory and damaging statements against the 1st Plaintiff (President Buhari)”.
The BCO applied for an order of the court for specific Damages against the Defendants jointly and severally in the sum of (N30,000,000.00) Thirty Millions Naira as the total sum above listed as financial loss the Plaintiffs incurred due to the wrongful, neglectful and fraudulent acts of the Defendants which forced the Plaintiffs to spend to correct the wrong impression created in the minds of the members of the public due to the publication caused and published by the Defendants.
The plaintiffs also want an order for “general damages in the sum of (N10,000,000,00) Ten Million Naira only jointly and severally against the Defendants for the embarrassment, pain and unnecessary financial loss suffered by the Plaintiffs most particularly the 1st Plaintiff who is a public figure, an honourable presidential candidate and reputable gentleman to the core”.
As well as an order of the court “for the payment of the sum of (N375,OOO.OO) Three Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Naira only being incidental expenses and/or legal charges which the 1st Plaintiff incurred in respect of this matter”.
In a witness statement on oath made by its Director of Communication and Strategic Planning, Mallam Gidado Ibrahim, the BCO, told the court that Atiku and his media aide engaged in smeared campaign of calumny against Buhari, by willfully allowing and sponsoring the said purported defamatory and image damaging statements made by the 1st Defendant to be published by some newspapers to members of the public.
Ibrahim averred that as such, President Buhari’s reputations was greatly affected by undue diligence with regards to the authenticity of the information as it relate to the true ownership of the alleged companies which the 1 st Defendant on behalf and for the 2nd defendant, falsely published in the newspapers for the consumption of the general public.