A former member of the House of Representatives, Prince Ned Nwoko has written to Saharareporters to retract its “defamatory statement” against his person or face court action.
In a letter addressed to Sahara Reporters by Nwoko’s solicitor, Rolls Law Firm, demanded for a retraction of the libelous publication in the online news platform and also asked Sahara Reporters to publish an apology in two national dailies backed with a payment of N10bn as damages for the publication of the said libel.
The letter dated 20th December 2021 and signed by Mr. Onyeka Nwokolo (Esq.) reads, “we are solicitors to Hon. Prince (Dr.) Ned Munir Nwoko (herein referred to as “Our Client”) and on whose behalf and instruction we write you this letter, our client’s attention has been drawn by several people including members of his family, friends, business associate and co-politicians amongst other well-meaning Nigerians to serials of your false publications in your news media where you maliciously with intent to bring our client to contempt and ridicule him in the eyes of the public published false, untrue and concocted stories about him.
“In one of such publications dated 14th August 2020 and captioned, “How Ned Nwoko Humiliated Monarch, Asked Police To Dig Up Palace”, you maliciously and falsely stated that Ned Nwoko, a former federal lawmaker from Delta State, “Ordered the arrest of Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko, monarch of the town, and subsequently asked the police to ransack his palace”.
Your said false publication claimed that our client was induced to take the above stated action because, “the monarch and some residents of Idumuje-Ugboko had opposed Nwoko’s attempt to forcefully acquire additional 90 hectares of land from an area earmarked for all indigenes of the community”.
Your references to our client as an unconscionable land grabber who has intimidated and cowed an entire community in order to takeover people’s lands gravely profiles him as a bully, marauder, buccaneer, pirate, Viking, and a bandit. The implication and innuendos from the false allegations are that our client abuses the privileges of God’s favours and endowment on him to oppress and extort others not equally endowed. It casts him as devious, manipulative, dishonest and fraudulent person of questionable character in the eyes of respectable people in the society.
This is in stark contrast to the reality and reputation of our client as a former lawmaker, a philanthropist, accessible, easy-going and stickler for rule of law. Our client was, hitherto, widely renowned in Delta State, Nigeria and worldwide for ventilating his convictions both in politics and business by due process of the law through established conflict resolution framework and judicial process.
Our client deliberately ignored the unprovoked slur and distraction your false publications sought to inflict on his reputation and focus on the more serious projects he has at hand. It is ironical that our client’s pacifist, disposition would appear to have reinforced your recklessness in directing more attacks against his person, business, reputation and integrity.
Few days ago, our client’s attention was to drawn to yet another false, wicked, malicious and defamatory publication dated 15th December, 2021 by you and published in several News and Social media captioned, “EX-HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MEMBER, NED NWOKO ACCUSED OF SCAMMING AFRICAN LEADERS WITH ‘WHITE ELEPHANT PROJECTS’”, wherein you published to the world and repeated the above cited falsehood about our client intimidating an entire community and grabbing their lands by coercion.
You went further to add new and false claims about the Paris Club Refunds and the Malaria Eradication Project being undertaken by the Ned Nwoko Foundation. Our clients’ involvement with the Paris Club Refund in Nigeria has been an open subject and public knowledge. It has been subjected to judicial scrutiny, private company review and audit by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and forensic investigation three (3) times by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In 2016, at a time no money had been paid to our client the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in response to a claim by a whistleblower NGO, that our client has been paid about $6bUSD with the respect to the Paris Club Refund issued a stern instruction to the EFCC to conduct detailed investigation against our client. He was invited and volumes of documents and files taken away.
The EFCC Investigation Report affirmed our clients’ role in the Paris Club Refunds. Two successive review investigations were further carried out by the EFCC with the same outcome. Our client was subsequently paid part of his entitlements.
Our client unequivocally denies all the allegations you made against him in the said publications, and other publications by you on same subject which the constraint of space cannot be contained herein, all of which were intended to drag his integrity to the mud.
On the contrary:
The said Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko was fingered in the investigation and prosecution of a case of violence and destruction of properties in Idumuje-Ugboko sometime in May 2017.
A prosecution witness identified him and some others as working in concert and masterminded the mindless terror and destruction visited on Idumuje-Ugboko in 2017. A cursory investigation or verification would have revealed this fact to you;
b. with respect to acquisition of land, our client followed laid down processes in the acquisition of lands in Idumuje-Ugboko and anywhere else in Nigeria. Again, this fact could easily have been established had you spared any consideration to tell a balance story.
Your malicious publication were deliberately orchestrated to inflict indelible scares on the reputation of our client as easily verifiable facts were advertently ignored by you to foster your quest to destroy as illustrated hereof.
By available records, the claim that the late king’s signature on the letter approving the allocation of the land was forged has been investigated and authenticated by experts. Those who peddled the false allegation were charged for false information.
The LGA Chairman affirmed that he conferred with the late king and confirmed that he signed the letter before they proceeded with formalizing the allocation.
The Adviser to the Delta State Governor on Peace and Reconciliation, one Chief Uzor confirmed the late king’s signature.
A cursory investigation by you would also have revealed to you as follows:
That Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko has never been proclaimed the king of Idumuje-Ugboko by the elder (senior) members of the Nwoko Royal Family.
That Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko was not recommended to the Anioma North Traditional Rulers Committee.
That the Anioma North Traditional Rulers’ Committee recommended Crown Prince Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwoko as the Obi(king) Idumuje-Ugboko
That the Chairman Anioma Traditional Rulers’ Forum HRM Asagba (Prof.) Chike Edozien recommended Crown Prince Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwoko to the Delta State Government for presentation of Staff of Office as the Obi (king) of Idumuje-Ugboko by the Governor.
Court judgments are public documents that are readily available at registry of every court in Nigeria. There is also the Freedom of Information Act which empowers sincere media organization seeking to publish the truth to secure any public information they require. There have been several court judgments arising from the Paris Club Refunds involving our client. If you had sought information, we would have gladly supplied you the details to enable you issue an objective publication.
Had you taken the steps in paragraph (e) above, you would have found out that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) entered into a Terms of Settlement signed by their Chairman and the Director General, Asishana B. Okauru, with Ned Nwolo acknowledging;
That Ned Nwolo worked for them and is entitled to be paid.
That they (NGF) shall issue a Letter of No Objection to payment to Ned Nwoko and the associated company Linas International Limited.
That in furtherance of the court Judgment, the NGF issued the Letter of No Objection to as stated above to the Federal Ministry Of Finance.
That from the records that there is no clam of $418mUSD by the NGF against Ned Nwolo or any of his associated companies
That there are several court orders In favor of Ned Nwoko with respect to the subject matter.
That the University project is gradually evolving as conceived.
You would have discovered a treasure trove of factual information contrary to the malicious and deliberate falsehood you have been publishing.
Based on the foregoing it is obvious that you deliberately and recklessly misrepresented the status of Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko to add vitriol and sensationalize your false publication to gain prominent and wide readership in order to sully our client’s reputation and standing in society.
Our client is a well-respected person in Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State, and everywhere both within and outside the shores of this country. He was a member of the Federal House of Representatives, a senatorial aspirant, a multiple Honorary doctorate awardee, an astute politician, an international lawyer, a business mogul, and a Philanthropist.
He is a social crusader who has the interest of his people at heart and always attract the developmental project to his people. Our client is renowned worldwide for leading the crusade and fight to eradicate malaria. And as such he has a substantial social media presence and following.
The publications you made were read by the public within and outside Nigeria and it has cost our client his reputation as well- meaning Nigerians are beginning to look at our client with contempt and disdain and he is being ridiculed and openly embarrassed as a land grabber and extortionist.
His involvement in proposed businesses and several other activities are met with sudden cold shoulder and silent rebuff since after your false and malicious publication. They believed your false story and think our client is a dishonest person.
Your repetition of these falsehoods and garnishing the same with new additions on each occasion betrays a deliberate baiting of our client to a reaction and response.
We therefore formally make the following demands fro you;
a, That you publish in two national newspapers as well as in your online News Media statement retracting the Libelous Publications of 14th August 2020 and 15th December 2021 respectively with an unreserved apology.
That the sum of #10,000,000,000 (Ten Billion Naira) only be paid to our clients’ compensation for the malicious, false and disparaging publications.
This letter should also be taken as a pre-action notice to you peradventure you choose not heed to our Client’s demands”.
”Your mentorship, humility, and resilience was exemplary” Oando Boss, Wale Tinubu Mourns Barkindo
Oando, LAMATA sign MoU on electric mass transit buse
Oando Clean Energy Limited has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (referred to as LAMATA), the Lagos State Government agency tasked with planning, implementing, regulating and franchising sustainable integrated public transport in Lagos.
The MoU establishes a partnership between OCEL and Lagos State in her journey to becoming a sustainable city via the rollout of electric mass transit buses, supporting charging infrastructure and service centres (EV Infrastructure Ecosystem).
The statement obtained from the NGX noted that with over 25 million residents, Lagos is the most populous city in Africa and among the top ten of the world’s fastest-growing megacities.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Commissioner for Transportation, Lagos State, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said the MoU represented the State Government’s commitment to cutting greenhouse gases by replacing them with cleaner sources of energy.
Oladeinde said, “With an understanding that transportation is a key emitter of greenhouse gases in Nigeria, we developed a strategy to cut greenhouse gases by 50%. A key component of this strategy was identifying and developing a more robust mass transit system for Lagos that would include rail and waterways amongst others. Using electricity to power mass transit is a step in the right direction, and from there we would gradually transit to private cars.
“This is just the beginning, there is still a lot more to come on stream. I commend LAMATA and Oando on this MoU signing, and both parties can be rest assured that they have my full backing to ensure success,” he added.
Commenting on the MoU signing, the Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo said: “We began this journey late last year, and for us, this has been a rapid development. It speaks to the energy and zeal of both organizations, and that is commendable. Oando Clean Energy came to us with a comprehensive solution that went beyond electric mass transit buses to include supporting infrastructure, and this was key for us, as the full remit of an EV support ecosystem is the only way to achieve success.
“This initiative will not only accelerate the Government’s transportation agenda, but also positively impact the health of Lagosians and the environment. The magnitude of its impact is far-reaching, and when you start to look at it as more than a transport initiative, you will see how laudable a project it is. The Oando brand comes with know-how and experience, and we are relying on this to successfully move from MoU signing to actual implementation that will in the medium to long term benefit over 22 million Lagos commuters. We look forward to a very robust and fruitful partnership.”
In his response, the Chairman, Oando Clean Energy, Adewale Tinubu, who was represented at the MoU signing by Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune said: “Oando Clean Energy was born out of a need to curate the best energy mix to propel Nigeria and indeed Africa, to its full potential.
As a company, Oando has always championed Public-Private Partnerships as fundamental to Nigeria’s industrialization. Through the signing of this MoU, we are revolutionizing the landscape of mobility by pioneering e-mobility in Lagos. Furthermore, we remain dedicated to achieving our national commitment to net-zero by 2060, ending energy deficiencies and further propelling the country to an industrialized phase through decentralized and sustainable energy systems.
We are excited to be embarking on this journey with Lagos State and must commend their foresight and willingness to forge a template for others to follow. It’s easy to be perturbed by the perceived challenges that come with the mega-city status tag, but by taking this bold step, Lagos is showing the continent what is indeed possible and giving other cities the impetus to redefine today how to build a public transport system for the future.”
Over the last decade, the number of vehicles on Lagos roads has quadrupled, yet studies suggest that Lagos could become the world’s most populated city by 2100 with as many as 100 million residents; and as the city grows, so will the number of vehicles.
This upward trajectory in vehicle numbers poses a significant challenge as transportation has been identified as the key contributing sector at circa 23% to 30% in annual CO2 emissions.
Against this backdrop, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between LAMATA and OCEL will enable the successful fulfilment of the objectives of the Lagos State Government through the deployment of an EV Infrastructure Ecosystem towards the attainment of a sustainable road transport system in the State.
Furthermore, this initiative will bridge the existing gap in available mass transit buses for the increasing number of Lagos commuters.
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Wins Primary for Second term
The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has emerged winner of the state governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress.
In the primary election conducted at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta, five other aspirants contested against the governor.
The aspirants include Olubiyi Otegbeye, Mrs Modele Sarafa- Yussuf, Mr Owodunni Opayemi, Remilekun Bakare and Abdukadir Akinlade.
Of the six aspirants, only Abiodun, attended the primary, while agents of all other aspirants, announced their presence and did what was expected of them.
Giving the details of the election, that was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, the Chairman of the Ogun State APC Primary Election Committee, Chief Wale Ohu, disclosed that 1,180 delegates, from the 20 local governments, were accredited for the exercise.
Announcing the results, Ohu, said Abiodun scored 1,168 votes, while other aapirants, did not secure any vote, saying that two votes were voided.
Prior to the commencement of the process, Ohu, announced to the delegates and all the leaders of the party that attended the event, that all required agents, were present.
Ohu took time to read out names of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials of the APC officials that were sent from the National Secretariat.
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