U.S. court has ordered the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board executive secretary, Simbi Wabote, to explain all transactions made on his bank accounts from January 2018 to date.
In a court document seen by Peoples Gazette on Thursday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania gave Mr Wabote two weeks to provide the fully unredacted version of his bank statements.
The court also ordered Wabote (plaintiff in the suit) to provide answers to several questions raised by U.S.-based Nigerian journalist Jackson Ude (the defendant) in an ongoing defamation case between the duo.
“Within 20 days from this order, plaintiff shall provide defendant with all of the requested documents to defendant’s second request for production of documents numbered one to nine, which are attached as Exhibit G to defendant’s letter and dated November 30, 2021,” the court document stated. “Within twenty days from this Order, Plaintiff shall provide Defendant with fully unredacted versions of the bank statements he has already provided.”
The defendant had earlier asked the court to mandate Mr Wabote to identify and clearly state all banks he operated all bank accounts from 2010 to date, whether still in operation or closed.
The defendant asked Mr Wabote to identify all bank account numbers, names, and addresses of the banks involved anywhere around the world since 2010 to date.
Mr Ude also asked the plaintiff to identify any and all third parties that work for the NCDMB, clearly stating the relationship shared.
Mr Wabote had sued the U.S.-based Nigerian journalist in a U.S. court for character defamation. He claimed that Mr Ude defamed his character in an online publication on Pointblanknews.com.
He alleged that the journalist accused him of financially compromising his position and abusing the privileges of his office as the NCDMB boss while Nigeria prepared to launch the Liquefied Natural Gas Train 7.
However, Mr Ude’s attorney prayed the court to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to present documents explaining if and why he allowed Mr Wabote to operate foreign bank accounts against provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.
The constitution bars public officeholders, including the president, from operating or maintaining foreign bank accounts.
Following the defendant’s prayer, the court instructed Mr Buhari to present “any, every, and all the documents fully and specifically explaining why plaintiff, Simbi Wabote, is allowed by the Nigerian government to operate foreign bank accounts while the other public officials and public officers are prevented and/or forbidden from opening and/or operating foreign bank accounts.”
Source: Peoples Gazette