By Andy Chukwu
Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked Lauretta Onochie, an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, for an apology and N500 million for “defamation”.
In a letter dated May 14 and addressed to Onochie by Mike Ozekhome, his lawyer, the presidential candidate threatened to commence a N2 billion suit against her if she did not meet his demands.
On May 7, Onochie had tweeted that the former vice-president was on a United Arab Emirates (UAE) watch list.
“Atiku on UAE watchlist- Security sources,” Buhari’s aide tweeted.
“Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now
Atiku asked Onochie to publish a retraction in six national newspapers and one international daily as well as on social media.
“Your odious publication is clearly also aimed at rubbishing our client’s image and reputation,” the letter read.
“It has caused him national and international backlash and embarrassment and done incalculable damage to him.
“Your publication has also caused our client, in the eyes of reasonable members of the public, unspeakable odium, obloquy, hatred, ridicule and psychological trauma.
“He has thereby been subjected to the shame and infamy of being viewed by members of the public as not only corrupt, but as a terrorist and sponsor of terrorism. Numerous telephone calls, emails, visits, letters and private social media chats by his family members, friends, political and business associates, and international statesmen and women in the last few days attest to the alarm and serious concerns generated by your false publication.”