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Slanderous publications: Group writes IGP in defense of VP Shettima, NEDC boss

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Slanderous publications: Group writes IGP in defense of VP Shettima, NEDC boss

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By Samuel Luka

A Publication considered to be slanderous against the Nigerian Vice President Kashim Shettima and the Managing Director of North East Development Commission (NEDC), Goni Mohammed Alkali has attracted petition to the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) by a concerned citizens of the North-East.

According to the copy of the petition which was signed on behalf of the concerned citizens by a legal Practitioner, Barrister Peter A. Aki and made available to newsmen in Bauchi, the publications was malicious libel and criminal defamation against the two public officers in order to ignite Political instability.

Dated June 4th, 2024, the petition which was received by the IGPs office on 10th June 2024 had the signature of the counsel and representatives of concerned citizens group that represented the six States in the region.

The signatories included the lawyer Barrister Peter A. Aki, representatives of North east citizens from each state among them Barrister Atiku Isma’ila Gombe state, Alhaji Lawan Abdullahi Bauchi State, Mallam Murtala S. Danejo Taraba State, Aliyu Mohammed Yobe State, Engr. Awwal Hayatu Wakili Adamawa State and Abubakar Hussaini Borno State.

They observed that such libelous publications are capable of leading to break down of law and order, adding that the publications on various national dailies were false, with the intention of disparaging the Vice President and the MD in the eyes of right thinking persons.

The petition also noted that the publications was contrary to Nigerian Criminal and Penal code Laws and a gross violation of their Right to Dignity of Human Person as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended).”

The concerned citizens requested that the IGP use his good office to investigate the petition and take necessary actions.

In the petition tagged: “Petition Against Some Malicious Libelous Publication By One Pastor Dr. Sani Abdullahi and Reverend Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa Against The Person Of The Vice President Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria And The Managing Director Of The North East Development Commission Designed To Ignite Political Instability Across The Narion”, Barrister Aki said the action of the whistleblowers was politically motivated.

“As concerned citizens of the region, our clients’ attention has been drawn to some recent malicious libelous publications sponsored by one Pastor Dr. Sani Abdullahi and Reverend Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa as leaders of an incongruous group parading themselves under a pseudonym as the Coalition of Civil Society Organization against Corruption in Northerner Nigeria (COCSOCINN)”, the Lawyer said.

He added that checks have revealed that there is no any registered group or association with the above mentioned identity neither can they specifically point out as to who and who constitutes members of the group.

The concerned citizens regretted that Pastor Dr. Sani Abdullahi and Reverend Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa are working in collaboration with some few professional mischief makers that haye assigned unto themselves the obligation to malign and destroy both the person and office of the Vice president and the MD of the NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali for reasons best known to them.

According to the Petitioners, the publication is not only false, malicious, and destructive, but deliberately meant to malign the VP Shettima, expose him and his family to ridicule, and needlessly incite public hatred against his person and his family.

The Legal practitioners noted that the false information is criminal defamation that is capable of provoking the numerous supporters of Kashim Shettima in not only Borno, North Eastern State, in particular, and Nigeria as a whole.

Petitioners explained that the Bureau for Public Procurement Act has regulated the award of contracts and further that only the Federal Executive Council has the power to sanction any payment for contracts that are above the limit approved for the North East Development Commission as stipulated under the relevant statutes.

“It is therefore not practically possible under whatever guise, for the Managing Director of the North East Development Commission to unilaterally remove, from the Commission’s funds, the sum of 13 Billion for the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for personal gain as alleged”, the Petitioners declared.

The concerned citizens while describing as untrue, allegations that the MD’s son holds the position of a top contractor, said he has never been involved in any contract with the NEDC.

The group also condemned the Media trial that the NEDC refused to declare his assets, adding that proper channel for the accusers to take their claims to, is the Code of Conduct Tribunal and not the media if they have verifiable claims.

“They can freely go there and ventilate these claims instead of whipping sentiments through media trail as done by these professional mischief makers”, the Lawyers said.

They demanded that the whistleblowers be made to produce evidence of facts verifying the malicious publications because their action is craftily tailored not only to tear apart the sub-region but mostly to ridicule the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s and its probity in public trust by stabbing his back men.

This is one lie too many. Therefore, our clients have risen up to the challenge, Because First and foremost Sir, as people who have been beaten and battered by years of insecurity and instability, our clients cannot dismiss in one sentence the concerted synergy that the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies including the civil society have deployed to secure relative peace and stability in the sub-region. Our clients admit that in this struggle some people have indeed paid the supreme price”.

The Petitioners raised the alarm that: “some elements within the North East region have cled themselves as undercover revolutionary agents menacing disbolic schisms for dish-emony as their stock in trade thereby brewing anything but peace and stability in the region”.

They recalled that last three weeks, Reverend Kallamu and Pastor Abdullahi held a press conference in Abuja and alleged that they petitioned President Bola Tinubu over N13billion corruption allegation levelled against the Managing Director of North East Development Commission (NEDC), Mohammed Goni Alkali.

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