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MKO Abiola’s Widow drags police to court over alleged defamation

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MKO Abiola’s Widow drags police to court over alleged defamation

By Jennifer S Kuwanta

The widow of late MKO Abiola Prof. Zainab-Duke Abiola has dragged the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Alkali and Insp. Teju Moses to court for alleged defamation.

Prof. Abiola, through her counsel, Mr Tawo (SAN), in her statement of claim, averred that she was framed on Sept. 2022 by the defendants for allegedly assaulting Insp. Moses.

Abiola was arrested for allegedly assaulting Moses, her former orderly, for refusing to carry out menial and domestic chores at her house.

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

The plaintiff averred that the alleged defamation 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 an international reputation.

She also averred that the defamation caused her so much damage, trauma, ill health and reduced her standing and recognition in the global society bearing in mind that she had attained international reputation.

She claimed that the publication in print, electronic and social media as well as national dailies by the police against her person had lowered her estimation in the eyes of right-thinking members of 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 the acts of the defendants were libellous, scandalous, slanderous and defamatory by calling her unprintable names both in conventional and social media.

The plaintiff also averred that she was the serving Chief Legal Consultant of the Nigeria Police 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 to 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 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 the 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.’’

The case has, however, not been assigned to a Judge.

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