The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, has slammed a N10.2 billion suit against the Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Network, Honourable Dino Melaye, over some alleged libelous publications.
In the suit filed by his counsel, Ahmed Raji, Adoke stated that Melaye and his organisation libelled him by causing the publication of a story entitled, ‘Group writes Jonathan over Adoke’s abuse of Power,’ in the Leadership Newspaper of April 12, 2013 and another article entitled ‘Anti-Corruption Network reminds President Jonathan he has yet to fire AGF Adoke,’ posted on the Sahara Reports’ website on April 11.
The police in another letter to Adoke’s counsel, however, stated that Melaye had refused to cooperate with them to investigate the allegations raised in his petition.
Police authorities, in the letter dated May 17, counselled the minister to sue for criminal libel, explaining that Melaye and his lawyers were posing a stumbling block to their investigation of the allegations.
Consequently, Adoke sued Melaye over seven grave allegations contained in the publication and the posting by the online news site, which the minister described as false, defamatory and designed to tarnish his good name.
The justice minister also affirmed that the said publications portrayed him as a dishonourable person sabotaging the efforts of the Federal Government, while also undermining his reputation to occupy public office within the federation.
The minister denied all the allegations contained in the publications and affirmed that he had incurred enormous cost in legal consultation, thereby making a claim of N10 billion against the defendants as damages for libel contained in the publications.
The suit also seeks a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents or privies from further publishing libelous stories about Adoke.
In addition, the AGF is also seeking N200 million as cost of litigation of the suit, which includes professional fees of the counsel engaged in the suit.