HEDA SUES MOHAMMED ADOKE FOR DEFAMATION
Uploaded by Michael George on July 5, 2021
Nigeria’s anti-corruption group, Human and Environmental Developmental Agenda, HEDA has sued a former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, for alleged false and malicious claims.
In a suit filed at the High Court in Abuja, HEDA is asking Adoke to withdraw the malicious publications and pay one hundred million Naira as damages.
Adoke is the solicitor for the main suspects on the OPL 245 oil rig scam which saw Nigeria lose billions of dollars to corrupt officials in dirty oil deals.
In the writ of summoning, HEDA said attempts were being made to subvert the wheel of justice on the ongoing criminal trial of parties connected with the OPL 245 settlement agreement in Italy and Nigeria.
The group said in the process of covering up dirty tracks, suspects in the high profile case resorted to blackmail and arm-twisting tactics targeting HEDA, which is leading the global campaign.
HEDA confirmed it authored the petition to the EFCC which spurred an investigation that led to the prosecution of persons and entities amongst which is the Adoke
HEDA alleged that it was alarmed to receive several telephone calls and messages from the human rights community, professional colleagues, associates and well-wishers on the subject of the statements credited to Adoke by describing it and its official as committing the offence of forgery.
It alleged that Adegoke had on the first of April, 2021, said that the Chairman of HEDA Suraju Olanriwaju was invited by men of the Nigerian Police (IGP Monitoring Unit) and confronted with a handwritten statement of Adoke where he specifically named him as the person who forged the email dated 21st June, 2021 and the telephone interview alleged to have occurred between Ms Carlamaria Rumor and Adoke.
Suraju was grilled by the Police for upwards of about nine hours and still being investigated on the false allegations of Adoke till date.
The news of Suraju’s arrest and detention was circulated in all mainstream and online news media, wherein he was maligned and utterly embarrassed on account of the malicious publications.
HEDA said the publication prompted the threats Olanriwaju had received from groups including oil giant, Eni saying that Eni certainly believed the allegations in Adoke’s publication hence the threat.
HEDA said the dust of lies peddled against the organisation has cast immeasurable aspersion on its reputation and the standing of its leaders in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.
It said that the false and heinous allegations of forgery inflicted grievous damage on Olanrinwaju and HEDA.
HEDA insists that since the time of the publication, other well-meaning persons and organisations both locally and international have written to Adoke demanding that he should withdraw his false publication and tender an apology but he refused.
HEDA said it would rely on the publication of the United Kingdom Anti-Graft Group, Corner House of 25th April 2021 and HEDA’s publication of 27th April 2021 in the course of the trial.
It is therefore seeking a declaration of the court that the publications are harmful and an order compelling Adoke to immediately withdraw the said publication and statements published worldwide on various national daily newspapers, mainstream and online news media and tender an unreserved apology in two national daily newspapers circulating all over the Federation
In addition, it wants the Court to compel Adoke to pay damages to the claimant in the sum of One Hundred Million Naira only as compensation for his reputation.
By Fabian Anawo