A former chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reform, Abdulrasheed Maina, has in a surprising swing filed a N10 billion suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the agency.
In the suit brought before a high court in Lafia, Nasarawa state, Maina accused Ibrahim Magu of granting press interviews which are “slanderous, untrue and malicious”.
In the writ of summons, James Onyilo, Maina’s counsel asked the court for a declaration that the interview granted in November and December are defamatory to with slanderous, untrue, injurious and intended to lower the reputation and integrity of the plaintiff.
He is also asking the court to order the defendants to retract and publish an unreserved apology to the plaintiff in at least three daily newspapers within seven days from the day of the judgment.
He prayed the court to restrain the anti-graft agency head from making comments considered defamatory of the plaintiff.
Maina also asked for an order directing the defendants to pay jointly the sum of N10billion as damages for the publications.
In the statement of claim, Onyilo said, “the 1st defendant. (Magu) who has a personal score and vendetta to settle with the plaintiff using the instrumentality of the 2nd defendant (EFCC), maliciously embarked on a campaign of calumny against the plaintiff.
“The plaintiff avers that on the 30th of November 2017, the 1st defendant in the cause of a press interview aired different news report as well as on Internet medium of the various news media agencies made.
“The following statement, ‘it is terrible, as a result of Maina’s action, so many people, so many of our fathers and mothers who render service to this country had premature death, so many people had died…..he has been a civil servant, an assistant director. You people should stop celebrating criminals’…
“In a related development, on the 14th of December, 2017, the 1st defendant was captured on air during another press interview at the International Airport, Abuja, where he further made the following statement, “we are working very hard to get the criminal who stole pension money and decided to go into hiding because you people are the ones covering him, we will surely get the criminal and bring him to justice”.