National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has filed a N1.5 billion libel suit against the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, over a list of treasury looters which the minister released, last Friday, to the media.
Lai Mohammed released a list of looters under the Ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure mentioning, Secondus as one of them, alleging that he stole N200 million. Secondus quickly gave the minister 48 hours to withdraw his libellous statement against him the same day, or face litigation.
According to a statement from his media office, signed by his spokesperson Ike Abonyi, said that Prince Secondus, through his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba (SAN) in a letter ref no. EESE&C/1/31/03/18 dated 31st March, 2018 addressed to the Minister titled Re: Publication of false and defamatory statement against Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party: Demand for retraction, Apology and Payment of damages is asking for N1.5b damages plus a public apology.
The lawyer said that the said publication has damaged the image of Prince Secondus as he has been “humiliated, castigated and vilified by many as a result of the falsehood published by the Minister”
The letter informed Alhaji Lai Mohammad to note that if he fails to meet their demand after 48 hours, “we shall within 72 hours from today, proceed to a court of competent jurisdiction to ventilate our client’s right under the law and shall further seek the protection of the court against you.”
However, the Minister of Information and Culture, ALhaji Lai Mohammed, has released a fresh list of 23 members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who allegedly looted the nation’s treasury.
In a statement, Lai Mohammed said that the list of alleged looters which Government released earlier was based on verifiable facts, including the amount involved, the date the amount in question was collected from where it was taken.
The minister said that those complaining that the list was too short apparently did not understand that it was strategically released as a teaser.
“At the press conference where the list was released, I did say it was a tip of the iceberg. Apparently, this does not mean anything to people whose style is to comment on issues they barely understand, or just to shoot down anything coming from the government.”
He said that the Federal Government has a large number of alleged looters on its list even as he asked, whose leaders challenged the Federal Government over an issue that the party knows is its weakness: “what was the PDP expecting when it challenged the FG to name the looters of the public treasury under the party’s watch? Did the PDP actually believe that the massive looting under its watch was a joke? Did they think it is April Fool?”
The Minister said that the PDP’s reaction to the looters’ list has shown that its recent apology is an election-induced act, contrived to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians to vote for the party in the 2019 general election, even when it has not come clean on its looting spree during its time in office.
“The hysterical and panicky reaction from the PDP has shown that the party is not at all sincere about its choreographed apology. Were it not the case, the party would have followed in the footsteps of one of its leaders, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, who simply owned up to his role in the party’s rigging in the past elections and said he had turned a new
“It is said that a true confession is done in humility with an attitude of repentance. It is clear that the PDP does not know this, hence its resort to hubris instead of humility and genuine penitence,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Federal Government will neither be intimidated nor blackmailed into silence, adding that it will also not
rest until all those who looted the public treasury have been brought to justice.
Second batch of alleged looters and the amount allegedly embezzled
- Former NSA Sambo Dasuki: Based on EFCC investigations and findings alone (this is beside the ongoing $2.1billion military equipment scandal), a total of N126 billion, over $1.5 billion and 5.5 million British Pounds was embezzled through his office. A good number of these monies were simply shared to persons and companies without any formal contract awards.
- Former Petroleum Resources Minister Dieziani Alison-Madukwe: In just one of the cases the EFCC is investigating involving her, about N23 billion is alleged to have been embezzled. She is also involved in the Strategic Alliance Contracts of the NNPC, where the firms of Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko got oil blocks but never paid government taxes and royalty. About $3 billion was involved. The Federal Government is charging Omokore and Aluko and will use all legal instruments local and international to ensure justice.
- -Gen. Kenneth Minimah: N13.9 billion. N4.8 billion recovered by EFCC in cash and property
- -Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika: N4.5 billion. N29m recovered by the EFCC so far.
- Alex Bade, former Chief of Defence Staff: N8 billion, and EFCC recovered almost N4 billion in cash and property already.
- Indo Dikko: former CG Customs: N40 billion, and N1.1 billion in cash recovered in cash and choice properties.
- Air Marshal Adesola Amosun: N21.4 billion. N2.8 billion recovered in cash. 28 properties and 3 vehicles also recovered.
- Senator Bala Mohammed, former FCT Minister: N5 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.
- Senator Stella Oduah: N9.8 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.
- Former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu: N1.6 billion – from NSA.
- Senator Jonah Jang, former Plateau State Governor: N12.5 billion.
- Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of State for Finance: N1.5 billion. $829,800 recovered.
- Senator Peter Nwaboshi: N1.5 billion
- Aliyu Usman: Former NSA Dasuki’s aide: N512 million
- Ahmad Idris: Former NSA Dasuki’s PA: N1.5 billion
- Rasheed Ladoja: Former Oyo Governor: N500 million
- Tom Ikimi: N300 million
- Femi Fani-Kayode: N866 million
- Hassan Tukur, former PPS to President Goodluck: $1.7 million
- Nenadi Usman: N1.5 billion
- Benedicta Iroha: N1.7 billion
- Aliyu Usman Jawaz: Close ally of former NSA Dasuki: N882 million
- Godknows Igali: Over N7 billion.