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Firm faults report of alleged bribery in Yakubu’s reappointment


By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

A firm, Activate Technologies Limited has faulted report it linking it to alleged bribery in the reappointment of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu.

The firm, in a letter by its lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) said the report published by an online medium, Saraha Reporters, was a fabricated falsehood intended to malign his client’s reputation and defame its character.

Activate Technologies wants the online medium to retract the publication and publish apologies in two national dailies within 72 hours.

The letter, dated November 23, 2020, reads: “Our client has informed us that you published on your online platform, various spurious fabrication and malicious falsehoods; all in a veiled attempt to .malign its reputation, thereby defaming its character.

“The falsehoods that you maliciously authored against our client have thus prompted a viral social media circus and the attendant propagation of innuendoes, with particular reference to Sahara Reporters’ online post of the 18th day of November 2020, thus:

‘According to a top insider, Yakubu paid at least N3bn in bribes to have his tenure as INEC Chairman extended by another five years.

‘He paid a princely sum of N2bn to a group led by Senate President Ahimed Lawal and another N1bn to another group.

‘These huge funds were deployed and mobilised by a civil servant and director in INEC, who is described as wealthy and in charge of a strategic department.

‘The director was also aided by a contractor to the commission, Mohammed Sani Musa, who is presently a serving senator from Niger State responsible for the printing of INEC ballot papers used for elections under a company (Activate Technologies)…..’

“Needless to state that your statements above are spurious and utterly false, and constitute defamatory remarks against our client as they are calculated at maligning its blemish-free reputation.

“Consequent upon the above, you are hereby given 72 hours, inclusive of the date on this letter, to retract the above statements and tender an unreserved apology to our client.

“Such retraction and apology shall be explicitly published on two national dailies.

“Should you fail, refuse, and/or neglect to retract the said statements and tender an unreserved public apology in the manner prescribed herein, we shall have no choice than to subject you to the rigours of litigation; whereof we shall be claiming the sum of =N=500,000,000,000.00 (five hundred billion naira only); and this we shall do without any further reference to you.”

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