Emmanuel Omale, a Nigerian cleric, made good a threat he issued through his counsel few days ago by serving court processes on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and a reporter with the agency, Isamalia Chafe for an alleged defamatory report claiming he bought a landed property worth N573 million in Dubai on behalf of the suspended EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu.
In a Writs of Summons seen by this newspaper, the claimant, Emmanuel Omale, said he has been damnified and claims jointly and severally against the Defendants as follows: The sum of N1, 000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) being exemplary, aggravated, special and general damages for libel contained in the publication with the caption – “HOW MAGU USED PASTOR TO LAUNDER RE-LOOTED FUNDS ABROAD – REPORT” which publication was posted on the 1st Defendant’s website – www.nannews.ng by the 2nd Defendant on the 11th day of July 2020 which was falsely and maliciously published by the Defendants of the Claimant in the way of his public and private life.
He also prayed that the court issue an “An Order compelling the Defendants to publish a public apology specifically and wholly retracting the said libellous article in any 3 (three) daily Newspapers having nation-wide circulation in Nigeria and accessible to the public on the internet.
“An Order of Injunction restraining the Defendants, their servants or agents from further publishing or causing to be published the said words complained of or any other words, having such defamatory effect on the Claimant.
The claimant also said the defendants ( News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and a reporter with the agency, Isamalia Chafe) knew as a fact that the statement they made of and concerning the Claimant is false and bereft of any iota of truth.
“There is no Report whatsoever linking or indicting the Claimant of the crime of money laundering, aiding or abetting Mr. Ibrahim Magu or any other person whatsoever with money laundering or the commission of any crime whatsoever.
“There are no petitions in which the name of the Claimant were referred to with respect to any allegations of criminality against Mr. Ibrahim Magu, or at all.
NAN had published a presidential committee report that audited the EFCC between 2015 and 2020 stating that Mr Omale was used ”as an instrument for the embattled EFCC boss to launder money”.
Mr Omale, who is the General Overseer of ‘Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International’, Abuja, requested the government-owned newspaper to retract the publication ”which had severely injured his reputation, character and calling.”
The cleric, however, said that he does not own a foreign bank account as indicated in the report. He is, therefore, seeking N1 billion in damages adding that he only visited Mr. Ibrahim Magu in a hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, sometime in March 2020.
Mr Magu is currently being interrogated by a panel headed by Ayo Salami, former president of the appeal court over allegations of corruption and insubordination levelled against him. The allegations were made by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.