Ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi Demands, Retraction, Public Apology, over Defamatory Publication

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Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi

 

A former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi has demanded a retraction and unreserved apology letter from the publisher at OASIS Magazine, Daniel Dafe and one Jackson Ude over alleged malicious and defamatory publication against his personality.

Dafe had on Thursday, March 21, 2024, through his online magazine, Oasis Magazine alleged that, the former NIMASA DG was a promoter of communal and tribal war between Okoloba and Okuama Communities.

Also Jackson Ude through his social media X handle (formerly known as Twitter) falsely claimed that “Insiders told me Akpobolokemi who is from the Ijaw speaking part of the area working with Tomolo took soldiers to the Okuama to ‘teach them a lesson ” .

However, Akpobolokemi in two separate letters dated April 4, 2024 written by his lawyer, Eric K Omare, a principal partner in the law firm of E K Omare & Co demanded immediate retraction of the false and libellous publications and a public apology in three national newspapers or face a N50 billion law suit.

He stated that the said defamatory publication, has exposed Akpobolokemi to ridicule and public opprobrium, adding that his client has been portrayed as a promoter of communal war and not worthy to be entrusted with and treated as a leader anywhere in Nigeria.

He added that considering the wide readership of the false and libellous publications, his personal and business reputation has been seriously injured.

He added that Akpobolokemi had never promoted tribal or communal wars and was never involved in the movement or deployment of soldiers that were murdered at Okuama Community on the 16th of March, 2024.

“The said publication, which implies that our client is a promoter of tribal and communal war is not only false, but also malicious, inciting, defamatory and unjustifiable.

“Our client did not take Soldiers to Okuama Community to teach them a lesson as you ‘falsely and unjustifiable published or at all. Our client is a private citizen and not a member of the Armed Forces with power to move or deploy soldiers or any personnel of the military, paramilitary or at all.

“Our Client is a peaceful and reputable community leader; a former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and has promoted and continued to promote peaceful co-existence among communities over the years.

“Our client as DG of NIMASA related with Nigerians from all over the country and treated all Nigerians who he came across in that capacity, as brothers and sisters without acrimony. Our client has, over the past decades promoted peaceful existence in Nigeria in both his public and private lives and has not been found wanting in that regard. *

“By reason of your defamatory publication, our client has been exposed to ridicule and public opprobrium and he is now seen as a promoter of communal war and not worthy to be entrusted with and treated as a leader anywhere in Nigeria Considering the wide readership of your aforesaid false and libellous publication, our client’s personal and business reputation has been seriously injured.

“Consequently, and without prejudice to our client’s right to seek legal redress under the relevant laws, we have his instructions to demand from you, the immediate retraction of your false and libellous publication and a public apology to be published in three national newspapers including in your X handle for seven consecutive days, within one week of the receipt of this letter.

“Take notice that should you fail to comply with the demand to retract your false and libellous publication and tender a public apology to our client within one week of the receipt/notice of this letter, our client would have no option than to seek legal redress against you in court to protect his hard-earned reputation and shall be asking for punitive and exemplary damages in the sum of Fif Billion Naira N50 000 000 000.00) against you”.

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