Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Resources in former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, has sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation for N100 billion in libel and defamation.
In the suit marked CV/6272/2023, filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Friday, May 26, Alison-Madueke was represented by a team of her lawyers led by Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate.
The first and second respondents in the suit are the EFCC and the Attorney-General’s Office.
The former minister, arguably the most vilified of Jonathan’s aides for corruption by the Buhari administration, is seeking a public apology to be published in three major national dailies, as well as a court order prohibiting the respondents from further defaming her.
She informed the court that she had been away from Nigeria since leaving office in 2015 to treat “the most aggressive form of breast cancer” in the United Kingdom.
According to reports, Buhari’s largely unsuccessful fight against corruption stems from the arms procurement fund, which exposed much rot in Jonathan’s administration, as well as its inability to contain the Boko Haram insurgency, which spiralled and worsened the nation’s insecurity under Buhari.
Buhari leaves office on May 29 with Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, whose office is the second respondent in Alison-Madueke’s lawsuit.
She claimed in the suit that the first and second respondents published a libellous and defamatory article about her titled ‘Diezani: EFCC uncovers additional $72.8 million in Fidelity Bank’ on December 16, 2021, and “maliciously wrote, authored, and/or caused to be written, authored, or published to the whole world at large of and concerning the claimant, through the 1st Defendant’s online official website through which they falsely and malicious
“In a publication made on August 8, 2017 by the 1st and 2nd defendants, titled ‘Unbelievable!!! EFCC traces N47.2 Billion, $487.5 Million to ex-Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke’, the 1st and 2nd defendants falsely and maliciously wrote, authored, and or/caused to be written, authored, or published to the whole world at large through the 1st defendant’s online platform, a
According to her, the publications and many others have diminished her person and lowered her esteem in the eyes of the right-thinking public, and she claims that many people who saw the publications have called her and expressed disappointment with her alleged dubious character.’
The claimant is seeking an order prohibiting the first and second respondents, whether acting as themselves, servants, agents, operatives, or by whomever and however, from distributing or further distributing, publishing or further publishing in any form or manner, the same or similar offensive, libellous materials or stories about or about her.
As a result, she is asking for “an order directing the defendants jointly and severally to pay to the claimant the sum of N100,000,000,000.00 (100 billion naira) only as damages for the false, injurious, malicious, and libellous publications against the claimant in the 1st defendant’s publishing platform, and at the instance of both the 1st and 2nd defendants.”
It was reported in May 2021 that the EFCC claimed that the pieces of jewellery discovered in the claimant’s home were worth N14.4 billion.
In another report that year, the commission stated that it discovered $153 million and 80 houses associated with her.
Previously, a court ordered the permanent forfeiture of N34 billion in her name.
A court ordered the permanent forfeiture of her jewellery and an iPhone in a similar ruling in 2019.