Alison-Madueke Sues APC, Premium Times, 9 Others

Alison-Madueke Sues APC, Premium Times, 9 Others

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has sued Premium Times and 10 other individuals and organizations to confine them from further reporting on the controversial missing $20billion oil money involving the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

In an application before Justice AFA Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s lawyer, Godwin Obla, from Obla & Co., sought and obtained an interim injunction restraining Premium Times and 10 others from “publishing or causing to be published any further defamatory statements” stating or suggesting that the minister “stole, misappropriate or colluded in the stealing of $20billion crude oil revenue”.

In the application dated March 13, 2015, Mr. Obla warned the persons and organizations to desist from “further publishing any disparaging defamatory or otherwise salacious material (sic) as it relates to or affects our client.”

Those listed as defendants in the case are the All Progressives Congress, APC, Vanguard Media Limited and its editor, Mideno Bayagbon; Leadership Newspapers Group Limited and its editor Ekele Peter Agbo; Premium Times Services Limited and its editor in chief, Dapo Olorunyomi, and Vintage Press Limited and its editor, Lekan Otufodunrin.

Also joined in the application were the National Broadcasting Corporation and the Nigerian Press Council.

The Court directed the two government regulators to ensure Mrs. Alison-Madueke is not linked in any report regarding the alleged missing $20 billion either on broadcast media, internet, print or radio.

The court specifically ordered the media houses to “desist from publishing any materials or running any program alluding to the complicity or collusion” the minister in respect of “$20billion, $49billion or any other figure, howsoever computed or arrived at, which are purportedly/allegedly missing or ‘unaccounted’ for”.

“You are hereby advised to immediately ensure total compliance with the Order of the Hon. Justice Ademola and to further cease and desist forthwith from publishing any material, howsoever titled or presented and irrespective of its form and content, which alludes to any amorous, immoral, salacious and defamatory matters connected to or related with our client, including anything to do with any allegation(s) or insinuation that our client colluded, was involved with or is complicit in the matter of a purportedly/allegedly missing $20billion, $49billion or any other amount whatsoever, until the determination of the substantive suit,” it stated.

Warning that compliance to the court order was not discretionary, but mandatory, Mr. Obla said that any attempt to do otherwise would be tantamount to flouting a subsisting order of a competent court.

“Failure to heed or give effect to the subsisting orders of the court will lead to the full force of the law being brought to bear upon your organization,” he said.

The missing $20 billion oil money was first raised by former Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, who accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of not accounting for the amount.

As petroleum minister, Mrs. Alison-Madueke is the chairperson of the board of the NNPC.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Khadijah Thabit avatar

Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined Legit.ng in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email: khadeeejathabit@gmail.com

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