A former Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia, Lilian Onoh, has threatened to sue SaharaReporters over a publication exposing how she allegedly engaged in monetary misappropriations whereas serving within the southern African nation.
Onoh made the menace in a letter signed by her counsel, S. G Kekere-Akpe to the editor of the newspaper.
SaharaReporters had quoted the report of a seven-man committee that indicted Onoh over alleged monetary misappropriation.
Onoh was accused of unlawful diversion of funds meant for the day-to-day operation of the mission and was requested to refund the sum of $45,539.11 (about N19 million), $70,448 (about N30 million), and N614,000. This was a part of the advice of the seven-man committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda.
The committee additionally had a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs as a member.
The committee, which was arrange by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama following allegations of corruption by former High Commissioner Onoh towards some officers of the Nigerian Mission in Namibia, travelled to Windhoek, Namibia on April 12, 2021, the place they had been acquired by the Charge d’ Affaires, Mr. Ali Gombe.
Following the invention of the infractions, Onoh was requested to refund the sum of $42,500 as an training complement in respect of her adopted daughters and refund $2, 614 as Excess on AIE (Excess fee).
She was additionally requested to refund N66,168 spent on airfare of two home helps, $425 spent on stopover for “two domestic helps and N34,000 for an extra night in Abuja hotel.”
Others are; “Hotel lodging – 11-17 December, 2017, N312, 000; Guest resort lodging – 26-31 December, 2018, N268, 200.”
SaharaReporters gathered that Onoh made a number of makes an attempt to twist and conceal the report of the committee to cease the method to hold out disciplinary actions towards her.
SaharaReporters had learnt she engaged the providers of intermediaries, asking the Minister to intervene with the work of the committee in order that she might get a smooth touchdown and a clear invoice. It was learnt that when the Minister refused to intervene, she turned determined and resorted to blackmail.
It was learnt that as a part of her desperation to vary the narrative and cease the executive course of, Onoh got here up with a defamatory petition towards the Minister and copied President Muhammadu Buhari.
SaharaReporters gathered that when she learnt that the minister was exonerated by the presidency and that there was a suggestion towards her for unfairly bringing the ministry and civil service into disrepute, she then resorted to media blackmail by leaking her petition to the press.
SaharaReporters learnt that Onoh had been rejected by some international locations she was posted to for being confrontational, combative, and disrespectful to the authorities.
Sources alleged that Onoh was at a degree fired however her dismissal was reversed owing to her affect as a daughter of a former Governor of outdated Anambra State, Chief C.C. Onoh.
In response, Onoh demanded a retraction from SaharaReporters with an apology carried out with the identical prominence on the platform inside 48 hours.
She additionally claimed the story had dented her status and that of her late father, C.C Onoh.
The letter reads partly, “We are solicitors to Ambassador Lilian Onoh, Former High Commissioner of Nigeria to Namibia, of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja (hereinafter referred to as ‘Our Client’) and it is on her instruction and behalf that we write you this letter.
“Our client has been inundated with calls and messages from Nigeria and abroad over your organisation’s false and unfounded allegations which is (sic) libellous and has (sic) irreparably dented our client’s sterling image and reputation not to mention the reputation of His Excellency, Late Chief C.C. Onoh, himself of such unimpeachable integrity and probity that he was the only Governor released within 2 weeks of the 31 December, 1983 Coup by the Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, while other Governors were sentenced to several hundred years for corruption.
“In the case of our client, all her entitlements were duly written on pages 2 and 3 of her Letter of Appointment and in no instance was she paid anything that was not in her Letter of Appointment. Also, our client was not paid some of the outrageous sums in your publication, much of which were totally fabricated.
“We also note that the House Panel was in Windhoek on the 13th of April, 2021 and not on the 21st of April, 2021 as published by your organization and that their report would have been submitted to Hon. Buba Yakub for adoption by the full Committee and then submitted to Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, for adoption by the full House.
“Our client challenges your organisation to publish the certified true copy of the report of the House Investigative Panel that traveled to Windhoek on 13th April, 2021 being a public document to evidence to the public where the House Investigative Panel indicted our client and demanded the refund of N50million for unauthorised claims in order to justify that your publication, under reference, was not a hatched publication intended only to injure our client’s hard-earned reputation.
“In view of the foregoing, our client demands, that your organisation tenders an unreserved apology to her within 48 hours, with same level of prominence with which your organisation published its defamatory article and remove the article from your organisation’s publications and any other platform on which it was circulated, while ensuring that its retraction and apology are equally published: and circulated on those platforms.
“TAKE NOTICE that if your organization fails and/or refuses to comply with our client’s demands within 48 hours, we shall perfect our client’s further instruction to institute legal action against your organization and its principal officers, without further recourse to you or your organization, for defamation and aggravated damages of Five Billion Naira.
“We hope that your organisation will accede to our client’s demands promptly and forestall the expense and embarrassment of litigation.”