Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has filed a legal suit against Punch newspaper and columnist, Sonala Olumhense, over an alleged defamatory publication on January 27, 2019.
Obasanjo is praying the Federal High Court in Abuja to award him N1 billion as damages from the newspaper and the columnist.
According to him, the article was “false, malicious, unjustified, injurious, scornful, distasteful, unsavoury,” and exposed him to “public odium, ridicule and disdain.”
Mr Olumhense, had in the article titled “This is the Best Contribution Obasanjo Can Make”, said: “Obasanjo was no anti-corruption champion either, although nobody harangues corruption better than he. Yes, he launched the EFCC and ICPC, but they fought only the fights he allowed them to and wrote the reports he wanted.
“His real motivation was the largely retaliatory drive to recover the so-called (Sani) Abacha loot against the man who had thrown him behind bars. At the end, he could not account for the billions of dollars recovered.”
Olumhense, who would be having Femi Falana, as his counsel, also wrote: “So abominable was Obasanjo’s performance on electricity that he lavished at least $10 billion he could not justify. The House of Representatives said Obasanjo often paid money to companies that had not cleared space for the projects.”
Obasanjo also wants the court to issue an order directing the defendants to retract the “defamatory words via a publication on the front page of two national newspapers within three days from the day of the delivery of the judgment of the court.”