Ex Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide, Lauretta Onochie caused him mental and psychological trauma via fabricated offensive electronic messages when he was contesting to be Nigeria’s president.
According to him, he saw several baseless allegations against his person on social media and they were aimed at ruining and destroying his reputation.
He added that Lauretta’s action was fuelled by pure malice.
His words, “That I am the Claimant in this suit and by virtue of which I am seized with the facts deposed herein. ‘I am an astute politician, a businessman and a philanthropist and former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That I am a notable and a respected personality in my community, Nigeria and the World at large, a distinguished Elder Statesman, who has served the Nigerian people, the Federal Government of Nigeria and humanity in various capacities. “I had a sterling career in the political sector.
“That sometime in May 2019, I embarked on a foreign trip to the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), as I have done over the years.
“That while still in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the said trip, the Defendant on 7th day of May, 2019, through her twitter handle page, which is linked to, and belongs to the Defendant, published a most libellous story about me on her said twitter and also published same globally online on the social and other print media and electronic media, making the following false and unfounded allegations against me.
“Atiku on UAE watchlist-Security sources Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice Pres Atiku Abubakar who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now What is he doing there? Me: Shopping for Terrorists?”.
“That in the said defamatory publication against me made by the defendant on 7th May 2019, the defendant amongst other baseless allegations falsely and maliciously accused me of being on the watch list of Security Operatives in the United Arabs Emirates (UAE).
“The defendant further falsely accused me of shopping for terrorists in the Middle East, thereby portraying me as an evil man, mentor of terrorists, someone who has links with terrorists, and a person who is interested in destabilizing the peace and unity of Nigeria. The publication also portrayed me as a security threat and terrorist to right-thinking members of the public and the society at large.
“That since the 7th day of May 2019, when the said libellous and offensive electronic message vide twitter, was sent and also published globally online `in the social and other print media, the odious publication has clearly rubbished my image and reputation.
“It has caused me national and international backlash and embarrassment and has done incalculable damage to me.
“The publication of the defendant has also caused me, in the eyes of reasonable members of the public, unspeakable odium, obloquy, hatred, ridicule, mental and psychological trauma.
“I have thereby been subjected to the shame and infamy of being viewed by members of the public as not only corrupt but as a terrorist and sponsor of terrorism.
“Numerous telephone calls, emails, visits, letters and private social media chats by my family members, friends, political and business associate, and international statesmen and women attest to the alarm and serious concerns generated by the defendant’s false publication.
“I categorically deny each and every allegation contained in the said publication which is a figment of the imagination of the defendant. I state most emphatically that the entire opprobrious and denigrating story above referred to is most misleading, baseless, false, malicious and totally bereft of any foundation howsoever.
“I state most emphatically that the inference and grave conclusions made by the defendant in the obviously politically orchestrated story were invented by the defendant and others of her ilk, solely to cause maximum damage to my high reputation.
“That Contrary to the defendant’s derogatory, disparaging, mendacious and unrestrained defamatory statement, as published in various print, electronic and online media platforms, and as concerning me, is not and I have never been on the security watch list of UAE, or any other country, for that matter. I have neither ever been denied entry into, interrogated, nor been declared wanted by the UAE Authorities, or any of its security agencies.
“That I was at the time of the said publication in the UAE and was never accosted by any security agencies over the said frivolous and baseless allegations. “That the allegation by the Defendant to the effect that I was shopping for terrorists is not only dishonest and reckless but was calculated and “Politically, designed to instigate agents against me not only in the UAE but across the world”,
“She portrayed me to right-thinking members of the society as a depressed person without the mental fitness to hold the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any public whatsoever”.
“Further and by way of innuendo, the defamatory words complained of the above used by the Defendant also meant and were understood to mean that I am a hypocrite”.
“That after these defamatory publications by the Defendant, several people, both within and outside the country, who read the publications have called me and expressed their disappointment that they never knew that I was a man of dubious character and a sponsor of terrorists, despite my apparent sterling and distinguished career in the public sector and enviable achievements in the private sector.
“Some of them challenged me to sue the author of the publications to clear my name if I believed that the publications were false. “That it is most uncharitable of the Defendant to disparage my reputation, who has done everything humanly possible to serve Nigeria and humanity with a view to alleviating poverty and unemployment in Nigeria and beyond.
“That I deserve accolades for my personal commitment and sacrifices by creating employment and alleviating poverty through the empowerment of the youths. I have made outstanding contributions to the development of our country and humanity for which I do not deserve to be insulted or vilified.
“I plead that my character, reputation, person, psyche, honour, dignity, being and all I have ever stood for in life, have been smeared, maligned, assaulted and denigrated, without any justifiable basis by the electronic messages vide twitter and facebook, and also published globally online in the social and other print media circulated around the World by the Defendant.
“That upon the receipt of the electronic messages vide twitter and facebook, containing the highly libellous statements, the contents have been the subject matter of discussion in my matrimonial home and amongst other persons who heard about them both within and outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That unless restrained by an order of this Honourable court, the Defendant will continue to cause to be published, the same, or similar defamatory publications against me. “Upon the afore pleaded premises, that I am entitled to punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages, as well as injunctive reliefs against the Defendant.
“That I shall at the hearing of this suit, found upon all the documents relating to the facts pleaded herein, including, but not limited to the electronic messages vide twitter, facebook, other text messages, letters and e-mails from family members, concerned relatives and associate all over the World.”