Defence & Security

Nwoko petitions NGF for defamation, demands $40m compensation

By Paul Michael

One of the principal consultants in the controversial $418 million Paris Club refund, Ned Nwoko, has dragged the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to court for defamation of character.

Nwoko is demanding $40 million from the NGF for allegedly claiming that he has an issue that affects his status as practising lawyer with the British law society.

In a petition signed by Paul Philip from the Rolls Law Firm based in Abuja, Nwoko complained of a statement by Abdulrazaque Bello Barkindo, wherein, he said, “It is curious that in the introduction of himself, Mr Ned Nwoko said nothing about his current status with the UK Law Society and the widely held belief that he was disbarred for fraudulent activities.”

Reacting to the statement, Nwoko’s lawyers said that the statement was profoundly malicious and false, saying Nwoko has never been disbarred from legal practice in the United Kingdom.

The lawyers further said that the statement had lowered Nwoko before his business partners, friends, members of his constituency and well wishers.

The lawyers said, Nwoko is therefore demanding from the NGF, “a publication in two national newspapers as well as in your online News Media statements retracting the Libelous Publications of 21st August, 2022 with an unqualified apology within 48 hours from the receipt of this letter.

“You pay the sum of $40,000,000 (forty million United States dollars) to our Client as compensation for the malicious, false and disparaging publications.

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“This letter should also be taken as a pre-action notice to you peradventure you choose not to heed to our Client’s demands.”

Nigerian Governors Forum

According to Nwoko, the quote from the NGF’s statement is to damage his reputation, cast him as a dubious, manipulative, dishonest and fraudulent person of questionable character who is making claims against you.

The lawyers said, “The implication and innuendos from the false allegations is to abuse the minds of the public and rouse public support against your refusal to pay his consultancy fees instead of addressing the issues in controversy.

“It is common knowledge that our client attended universities of Keele and Kings College, University of London, two world renowned institutions where he obtained his first degree and masters.

“After his call to the English Bar, as member of the Lincoln’s Inn, he re qualified as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

“He had the rare fortune of establishing and growing one of the most successful law firms in Great Britain in the 1990s.

“By dint of due diligence and divine grace, he was adjudged by credible legal authorities in London as the best black lawyer of African descent resident in the UK.

“Our client came back to Nigeria in 1999 to embrace an equally enchanting destiny heading to the House of Representatives, Abuja to represent his people Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, as the nation returned to multi-party democracy.”

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