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President Buhari’s aide threatens to sue Elombah.com over report

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President Muhammadu Buhari’ moves to muzzle online media! see below The Offending Document published by Elombah.com but which was pulled within 24 hours following the SA to the President on Prosecution, Obla’s protestations that we did not contact him before publication.

Mr Daniel Elombah 

Publisher Elombah.com 

Dear Sir, 

Re: Your Defamatory online publication against Chief Okoi Obono-Obla   

1. We act for Chief Okoi Obono-Obla (“Client”) the SA to the President on Prosecution and Chairman- Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property relating to identified instance of libellous post across online media specifically posts made by you on Elombah.com, htpps://elombah.com/index.php/sport/football/21017-police-declare-buhari-s-aide-okoi-obono-obla-wanted-for-stealing; which refers to our Client. 

2. Our Client has facts to prove that your recent post of last week on Elombah.com contain serious, untrue, and highly defamatory comments towards him.  In doing so, you maliciously published libellous and false statements to thousands of people within and outside Nigeria causing serious threat to his reputation as a public office holder, a traditional ruler of Letamkpankom Community in Ugep and Legal Practitioner of high repute.   

3. The allegations which will be the subject of a possible action are in summary your publication on Elombah.com with an attached letter purportedly written by the police with sensational headline informing the public that ‘Police declare Buhari’s Aide Okoi Obono-Obla wanted for stealing’’. 

4.  Our client therefore believes that this statement which you know is false were designed by you to harm his reputation; decrease his respect, regard, or confidence; or induce disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against him from right thinking members of the society.  

5. To protect our Client’s interests, we are considering proceedings against you in the High Court in Nigeria.  These proceedings would seek remedies including but not limited to the following: 

5.1. Substantial damages; 

5.2. An injunction to restrain you from publishing the same or similar statements in the future; and 

5.3. Costs. 

6. At this stage neither we nor our Client have any desire to issue legal proceedings against you and we are keen to do all we can to avoid litigation where possible. However, in accordance with the pre-action protocol for defamation, we will desist from issuing legal proceedings provided within 14 days of the date of this letter you agree to do the following:  

6.1. produce an apology and a declaration that the allegations referred to are false and defamatory and cause such apology and declaration to be published in the forum which have given reason for our complaint as well as in two National Newspapers (such apology to be approved by us prior to publication) 

6.2. make proposals for the payment to our client of damages for the harm caused to his reputation; and 

6.3. undertake never to cause or sponsor any publication of defamatory content relating to our Client. 

7.  If the above undertakings are not complied with within 14 days from the date of receipt of this letter, we shall revert to our Client with a view to recommending that he commences legal proceedings without further notice in a High Court in Nigeria because Nigeria is the focal point both story and of the harm suffered. We also note that you are the Secretary of the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria. 

8. We await your response by return even as a hard copy of this letter is being sent by Royal Mail registered post to you.  In the meantime, we reserve our Client’s rights, the right to produce this letter to the Court when it comes to consider costs. 

Yours faithfully, 

E.O. Ifere 

For:  KLEARLY LEGAL & Partners

===

The Offending Document published by Elombah.com but which was pulled within 24 hours following Obla’s protestations that we did not contact him before publication.

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On Saturday, October 14, 2017, 5:31:47 AM EDT, Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla <okoiobla@hotmail.com> wrote (A defaming letter circulated widely online):

Daniel Elombah, I am amazed and surprised that you can descent so low in your journalistic endeavors to published such scurrilous ,spurious, vicious and malicious publication against me ! I have been writing free for your online outfit since 2010 or thereabout! You have my contact , my email and phone numbers ! If you are a journalist that believe in the ideas of fair hearing , decency and justice why wouldn’t you reach me before going public ! How can the Police declare me wanted without making any effort to first invite me ? Even if the Police declared me wanted , is it your place to publish the notice ? It befuddling how some of you can descent so low and allow yourself to be use to malign others just because of dirty lucre ! Do you have a conscience ? Do you have a soul ?    Do you have any credibility ?   

====== Okoi Obono-Obla

Obla’s initial disclaimer

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: 

SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST ME 

I have been inundated, since the early hours of today, by calls from family members, friends, well wishers, and colleagues concerning a publication in an online newspaper, Elombah.com. 

The said publication claims I have been declared “wanted” by the Police. Elombah.com also published a letter purportedly written to me on June 28th, 2017 and signed by DCP. Umar Mamman Sanda.  

Let me state categorically that I received no such letter from the Police or anyone inviting me for interrogation.  

I have continued to serve the country and President from my office at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja.  

I am always accessible to the media and indeed every Nigerian who desires my attention. My candid advice to my friends in the media is to contact me directly for my reactions to information concerning me.  

In the political clime we are, mischief makers would spare no efforts to smear people, especially public officers, they perceive as their enemies. The Nigerian media should not aid these mischief makers. 

I reiterate that contrary to the fertile imaginations of some deluded minds, I am in my office where I serve my country and the President. No one has declared me “wanted.”  

Thank you. 

Okoi Obono Obla 

SA to President on Prosecution 

Federal Ministry of Justice 

Abuja. 

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