The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has written a litigation threat to the PUNCH (Nig) Limited, publishers of The PUNCH Newspapers, demanding for the retraction of what it described as a libellous publication against the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, as well as an unreserved apology over the defamatory publication against Mr Magu.
Addressed to the Managing Editor/Editor-In-Chief of the newspaper, Mr Ademola Osinubi, and signed by it’s Secretary, Mr Ola Olukoyede, the EFCC described as libellous, vexatious, defamatory and damaging, a piece written by Abimbola Adelakun on March 5, 2020, titled, “The Real Trouble With Magu”.
In a release signed by the Acting Head, Media and Publicity of the Commission, Tony Orilade and made available to ABN TV, the letter dated March 6, 2020, was received by The PUNCH on March 17, 2020.
It reads in part: “For the avoidance of doubt, Adelakun’s usage of defamatory and libellous words have damaged the integrity of Mr Magu in the eyes of Nigerians and the outside world…
“We, therefore, demand a retraction of the libellous words and tendering of unreserved apology inconspicuous place in your newspaper within seven days.
“Please note that the Commission will not hesitate to commence litigation without recourse to you if our demands are not met within the stipulated time.”
Olukoyede further listed several libellous words contained in Adelakun’s piece and warned that the EFCC would not hesitate to commence litigation against The PUNCH, if the demands of retraction and apology were not met within seven days of the receipt of the Commission’s letter.
Olukoyede warned that The PUNCH and Adelakun will have to prove in court, the justification for the libellous and defamatory words against the EFCC boss.
According to Olukoyede, as a substantive Commissioner of Police and internationally recognized Anti-corruption czar, Magu “has discharged his responsibilities with absolute dedication and resourcefulness” and he does not deserve any “reckless use of libellous and defamatory words by Abimbola Adelakun”.
The EFCC said Adelakun, a columnist with The PUNCH, in the offensive piece, raised several parochial issues against Magu, which reeked of malice, bitterness and direct attacks on his hard-earned reputation.