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Atiku files deposition in N2.5bn libel suit against Buhari’s aide, Lauretta Onochie



Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, was at the registry of the FCT High Court in Maitama on Tuesday, to sign and file his deposition in support of the N2.5bn libel suit which he instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie.

Atiku, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 poll, sued Onochie for her alleged libelous tweet via her Twitter handle on May 7.

The post allegedly suggested that Atiku was on the watchlist of security operatives in the United Arab Emirates and had travelled to shop for terrorists in the Middle East.

In a statement on Tuesday, it was said that Atiku, among other things, was claiming the sum of N2.5bn from the Presidential Assistant on Social Media, as general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages against her.

“Atiku is claiming this sum from her for her defamatory story published on her twitter handle and Facebook page, in which she stated that Atiku was on the UAE watch list, as a wanted man, asking, ‘shopping for terrorists?’”

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He prayed the court in the suit marked CV/2287/19, to order Onochie to pay him the N2.5bn as “general, aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages over the untold embarrassment, derision, public ridicule, odium, obloquy, marital disharmony, mental agony and psychological trauma which the defendant’s publications have caused the claimant.”

Denying the allegations in the said tweet, Atiku said it was “politically orchestrated” “solely to cause maximum damage” to his “high reputation” while challenging “the purported victory” of Onochie’s boss, President Buhari in the last presidential election at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Atiku in his statement of claim accompanying the suit said rather than show “remorse by retracting her earlier publication”, she further, on May 20, made “another derogatory publication and also published same online in the social and other print media” against his person.”

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