20180408

Dokpesi to Lai Mohammed: Retract calling me looter or face N5B lawsuit

The chairman of DAAR communications, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, is demanding from Information Minister Lai Mohammed an immediate retraction of his inclusion on a list of alleged looters of public treasury.

Dokpesi wants the retraction published in four newspapers and a payment of N500million “representing minimal damages.”

He warns that failure by the minister to meet his demands will cause him to proceed to court to demand damages of N5billion.

Dokpesi’s demands are contained in an April 4, 2018 letter to the Minister.

It was signed by his lawyer, Dr. Mike Ozekhome.

The letter was in response to the March 30,2018 press conference by the minister in which he alleged that Dokpesi took N2.1 billion from the office of then National Security Adviser (NSA).

Ozekhome said that contrary to the minister’s “derogatory, disparaging, mendacious and unrestrained defamatory statements, as published in various print, electronic and online media platforms, of and concerning our client, our client has never been associated with the looting of the public treasury.”

He added:”before the court where he is currently standing trial on trumped up charges brought against him by your same federal government, he has categorically and unambiguously denied the said charges. At the ongoing trial which has been stalled serially by the federal government with series of requests for adjournment, our client has neither been found guilty nor convicted by the trial court or by any other court in Nigeria.

“The brazen defamatory statements/ publications of alleged looting of the public treasury mentioned by you against our client are most damaging and clearly rubbish the hard-earned reputation of our client.

"Our client has since received several and unending phone calls, mails and visits from relatives, friends, associates, as well as other well meaning Nigerians, who have ceaselessly called to express their shock over the vile allegations in the said publications.

“Our client has suffered severe public odium, opprobrium, ridicule, psychological trauma, untold embarrassment and countless business losses consequent upon your reckless publication which has put him in bad light before reasonable members of the society.

“Unless you carry out the above minimal demands immediately, to redress the incalculable damage done to our client’s [image], we shall, without any further communication from us, commence legal action against you to redress your unrestrained and unwarranted assault against our client’s hard earned image and reputation.

“We shall, in such circumstances, be demanding for damages in the sum of N5 billion.”