Looters’ List: Secondus drags Lai Mohammed to court

The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Uche Secondus, has dragged the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, to court for defamation of character,according to a media aide to the PDP National Chairman, Ike Abonyi.

Mohammed had listed Secondus as one of the PDP top shots that looted the treasury.

He alleged that the PDP chairman received N200 million from the former National Security Adviser (NSA).

In his reaction, Secondus had through his lawyer, Mr Emeka Etiaba, denied collecting any money from the former NSA.

He had consequently asked the minister to immediately retract his name on the list and demanded a public apology and payment of N1.5b damages within 48 hours.

“We shall within 72 hours from today (March 31, 2018), 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,” Secondus’ lawyer had told Mohammed in a letter on Saturday last week.

Having failed to meet the demand, the PDP National Chairman made good his threat yesterday and filed a suit at the Port Harcourt High Court in Rivers State.

In the suit no/PHC/1013/2018, he asked the court to award him the sum of N1.5b as damages for “humiliation, castigation, vilification attack on his person and integrity as a result of the publication.”

He also claimed that the list published by the minister was defamatory and urged the court to direct Mohammed to retract the said publication and apologise in writing.

Secondus wants the retraction and apology to be published in all social media platforms and other media organisations where it was earlier publicised and broadcast.

He further asked the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further publishing defamatory materials against him.

Joined in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Attorney General of the Federation and a publishing firm.

According to The Nation, the minister and other respondents are yet to respond to the suit.

Mohammed had told reporters penultimate Friday in Lagos that the decision to reveal the list was prompted by the PDP’s call to the government to publish the names of those that alleged looted Nigeria’s treasury.

Also on the list are former PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, and an erstwhile aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, among others.