The founder of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, Abuja, Pastor Emmanuel Omale has threatened to file a suit against NAN over a report that he assisted suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu acquire a property in Dubai.
NAN had published a report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA), which investigated assets recovered by the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.
In the report, Omale was said to have been used by Magu to launder funds.
He was reportedly disclosed during an investigation on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
Report stated that the cleric bought a landed property on behalf of Magu worth N573 million in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
But in a letter by Gordy Uche (SAN), his lawyer, Omale described the report as malicious, derogatory and libelous.
He said it “reeks of calumny, denigration, actuated by malice, and calculated to ridicule and disparage him, and clearly a hatchet job ingeniously crafted to cast a stain on his reputation”.
“Our client’s attention has been drawn to the extremely malicious, derogatory and libelous publication with the caption – “HOW MAGU USED ‘PASTOR’ TO LAUNDER RE-LOOTED FUNDS ABROAD – REPORT” posted on your website – www.nannews.ng on the 11th day of July 2020,” the letter read.
“We, however, wish to make the following clarifications to put the public records straight:
“That our client, only visited Mr. Ibrahim Magu in a Hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, sometime in March 2020.
“That our client never laundered any funds whatsoever for Mr. Ibrahim Magu, nor for anybody whatsoever.
“That our client does not own any foreign bank account anywhere in the world. That there are no funds whatsoever traceable from Mr. Ibrahim Magu to our client’s Bank accounts whatsoever neither has our client received any funds whatsoever from Mr. Ibrahim Magu. Our client has never received any funds whatsoever from anybody on behalf of Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
“That our client does not own any property in Dubai. His name was never used to purchase any property whatsoever in Dubai, United Arab Emirate or anywhere else in any part of the world, neither has he purchased any property or properties for Mr. Ibrahim Magu in any part of the world whatsoever.”
Omale said he had been subjected to ridicule as a result of the story, demanding an immediate apology and retraction from NAN.
“We wish to state that by reason of the said libelous publication which was read by millions of persons all over the world, our client has been severely injured in his reputation, character and calling. Our client has thereby been brought into ridicule, public scandal, hatred, denigration, odium and contempt, and lowered in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society,” he said.
“We therefore, demand the immediate retraction of the libelous publication by way of an unequivocal APOLOGY to our client prominently published in at least three (3) National Newspapers not later than 7 (Seven) days from the date of your receipt of this letter and that you restrain from further defamation of our client forthwith otherwise, a libel suit against NAN will commence you, your Organization, claiming the sum of N1, 000,0000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) as exemplary, aggravated, general damages for defamation, and for injunction if you fail to comply.
“Further take notice that this letter constitutes our formal notice of intention to sue.”
Magu is still facing a panel President Muhammadu Buhari set up to investigate the EFCC under his care.