Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osibajo will be taking THE PUNCH newspaper in an attempt to clear his name from the Corruption allegations against him.
The popular news outlet, PUNCH is in great difficulty as SimmonsCooper Partners, the law company formerly led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the publishers 72 hours to withdraw a tale stating that Alpha Beta Consultation firm affiliated or engaged the company with an unlawful N100 billion tax.
The firm’s Managing Partner, Dapo Akinosun said;
“SimmonsCooper Partners’ (“the Firm”) attention has been drawn to certain allegations, assertions and other false accusations made against her in the front page of the Punch Newspapers of July 13th 2019, titled “Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam” (“the Publication”);
“For the record, SimmonsCooper Partners refutes all the false allegations imputed against the firm, her members and persons currently or previously associated with the firm. The Publication singled out, not only SimmonsCooper Partners, but also Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) (GCON), a onetime senior partner and member of the firm, for public opprobrium;”
“The Publication contains untrue and highly defamatory statements towards the firm, some of which contain malicious falsehood. In doing so, defamatory statements are being communicated to millions of people throughout the world, diminishing the firm’s reputation and that of various individuals who have worked at, and continue to work, at SimmonsCooper Partners;”
“SimmonsCooper Partners states that it is not involved, in any shape or form, neither does it have a link with, the alleged tax evasion, money laundering, nor corruption claims alleged against any of the corporations identified in the Publication. For the avoidance of doubt, SimmonsCooper Partners has never retained a physical or correspondent address at “B5 Falomo Shopping Complex, South West Ikoyi, Victoria Island”.
“This address is copiously portrayed in the published CAC Form 2.1, purportedly, as proof of the linkage between the firm and the subject matter of the allegations, whereas, a cursory inquiry by Punch could have shown that this address is neither the firm’s registered address nor its principal office.”
“The firm categorically states that it has never been retained by Ocean Trust Limited to offer secretarial services as alleged by Punch Newspapers or at all. As is custom with filings as Company Secretary, there is no acceptance letter by the firm consenting to the purported appointment, or any other filing undertaken by the firm as Company Secretary at the registry of the Corporate Affairs Commission;”
“The Publication seems designed to damage the reputation of SimmonsCooper Partners and its past and current members rather than have any fair comment basis. The Publication was a false statement of fact, intentionally published in print and on the Internet, to millions of people within Nigeria and around the world. The malicious intent is demonstrated by the fact that a public search at the Corporate Affairs Commission shows that Ocean Trust Limited has a subsisting company secretary that had been appointed since 2011, which fact was curiously left out by the Punch Newspapers in the Publication. We believe that the Punch Newspaper’s admission to “rush to press” with the Publication, was motivated by malice and calculated to cause harm to the firm and its past and current members;”
“Further, the imputation that offering professional services to a company, by itself, creates an association with alleged wrongdoing, is neither customary nor reasonable. We are certain that Punch Newspapers has external legal advisers who will not be taken to be privy to, or actors in, the defamation alleged herein, or indeed in other matters of liability that may arise in the course of running Punch’s business. Offering professional services, by itself, cannot be characterized as wrongdoing.”
“The insinuation that the firm, its past and current members are somehow associated with alleged tax evasion, corruption, the suppression of investigation and obstruction of justice is not only unjustifiable and unreasonable, but also malicious in intent. Without more, the Publication has definitely held the firm up to scorn, ridicule, disgrace, and contempt in the minds of the readers of the Publication;”
“SimmonsCooper Partners, today, is a product of the combination of her members’ intellectual capital, industry and integrity garnered for several years. We are proud that Professor Osinbajo continues to epitomise these values even in public service. In line with international best practices, upon his election as Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Osinbajo resigned his membership of the firm;”
“The firm is aggrieved by the wanton, mischievous and most unprofessional manner in which the Punch Newspapers has published the defamatory statements in the Publication. SimmonsCooper Partners intends to seek redress to the fullest extent available in law and has requested the Punch Newspapers to do all of the following:”
• remove from publication in their entirety the defamatory publication and all online threads to prevent further harm to the Firm’s business;
• produce an apology and a declaration that the allegations referred to are false and defamatory and cause such apology and declaration to be published in each of the forums which have given or could give reason for our complaint (such apology to be approved by us prior to publication);
• provide details of the number of online posts made, together with website addresses;
• make proposals for the payment to us of damages for the harm caused to our reputation; and
• undertake to actively monitor and delete any newly published defamatory content relating to the Firm.
“If the defamatory Publication and threads are not permanently removed and the above undertakings are not complied within the stipulated period, SimmonsCooper Partners reserves the right to undertake further action as appropriate.”
#FreeSowore: Atiku, Others Reacts After Sowore Arrest As Pictures Of His Damaged Car Surface
AAC Presidential Candidate and CEO of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore has been apprehended by the DSS – Department of State Security at the early hours of Saturday.
So many reactions have trail the arrest and this includes another Presidential Candidate and other political bigwigs.
PDP Presidential Candidate, Abubakar Atiku said:
“Freedom of speech is not only constitutionally guaranteed, it is the substructure of our democracy. These kidnappings in the guise of arrests stands condemned.”
Mrs Oby Ezekwesili Said:
“All well-meaning Nigerians should stand with YeleSowore and defend his constitutional right and freedom to protest any matter of Governance that worries him.
“Mr Sowore’s convening of Citizens to protest Poor Governance – via #RevolutionNow- is Constitutionally guaranteed.”
“If our NGRPresident MBuhari & FG AsoRock are not completely out of touch with the reality of distress of majority of Citizens of this country, they would handle YeleSowore‘s right to convene #RevolutionNow wisely.
“Many of us his fellow #OfficeOfTheCitizen stand with him.”
Howvever, a journalist recognized as Fox Meek just obtained photos of Sowore’s car that was reportedly bashed by Department of State Services operatives during the arrest of the human rights activist and pro-democracy campaign as shared by a Nigerian journalist, Abiodun Sanusi.
According to an eyewitness report, DSS officers hit the Lexus Jeep of Sowore ‘like kidnappers would do to make way for themselves.’
Mr. Sowore was picked up at his apartment at about 1am this morning and he managed to post a distress tweet at exactly 1:25 am.
The security operatives seized Sowore’s mobile phone when he attempted to raise alarm over the invasion of his residence.
The journalist wrote;
“This is Omoyele Sowore ‘s car batched by State Security Service DSS during is illegal abduction (State Kidnap) at about 01:15am over the night.
Sowore and his brother who drove the car were assaulted by DSS officers. His brother was injured in the head and in the leg.”
We Stopped Him From Harming Himself – Presidency Revealed The Reason For Sowore Arrest
Lauretta Onochie who is President Muhammadu Buhari’s social media assistant has revealed the reason for his arrest. She said the DSS -Department of State Security was saving Omoyele Sowore from burning himself.
Through her official twitter handle, Mrs Onochie said this on Saturday as responses accompany Mr Sowore’s detention, a former candidate for the presidency.
Early Saturday, The AAC presidential nominee was taken into custody in his house and his phone picked up when he was about to alert his relations about the invasion.
It is thought that the arrest is linked to the #RevolutionNow protests that are set to begin on August 5th nationwide.
Onochie, who has been severally involved in false claims, alleged that Sowore had threatened to set himself on fire in protest to President Buhari’s administration.
Lauretta Onochie responded to a tweet saying:
“This Is What DSS Saved Sowore from. (See image) With talks about setting himself ablaze, it’s in order for the security operatives, whose role it is to safeguard both lives and properties, to take him into custody to prevent him from harming himself and get him the help he needs,”
This Is What DSS Saved Sowore from. (See image)
With talks about setting himself ablaze, it's in order for the security operatives, whose role it is to safeguard both lives and properties, to take him into custody to prevent him from harming himself and get him the help he needs. pic.twitter.com/4B2uIRzMMq
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) August 3, 2019
Former education minister, Oby Ezekwesili and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate in the February 23 election, Atiku Abubakar has joined several others in calling for the release of Sowore.