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US Based Human Rights Lawyer Sues FG Over Chibok School Girls, Demands $5m For Damages.


A United States based Human Rights Activist and lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, has filed a Libel suit against the Federal Government, demanding $5m for Damages for what he claimed to defamation of character over the 10 Chibok girls schooling in the US.
Addressing journalists, Thursday, at the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Ogebe said through his lawyer, Barrister David Ogebe, that the Federal Government defamed his character when Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Alhassan told the world that the 10 Chibok school girls, who escaped Boko Haram abduction in 2014, were not in school in the US.
Defendants in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Alhassan and Ministry of Women Affairs.
In the suit, the plaintiff accused Hajia Alhassan of deliberately peddling falsehood when she knew same to be false.
Ogebe in the suit said around June 2014, he and some humanitarians who are indigenes of Borno State conceived the “study abroad project” specifically to assist the abducted/escaped Chibok school girls after observing during a United States of America congressional fact-finding trip at the time that nothing was being done for them individually and as a group.
According to him, to actualize the project, the Education Must Continue Initiative (EMCI) was duly birthed as a non-governmental organization under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 LFN 2004 to serve as charity to provide quality education for the escaped Chibok school girls and other victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said through the EMCI and his personal efforts, 10 of the escaped Chibok school girls were granted admission with full scholarships in the United States of America and were subsequently taken to the US where they were enrolled in and began school within a week of their arrival with the plaintiff duly authorized as their guardian by their respective families.
However, according to the plaintiff, despite his effort to get the 10 Chibok girls to study abroad, the Women Affairs Minister came out to say that the girls were not schooling in the US.
“it is impossible to be in possession of students visa and not reporting within 30 days?”, he queried
He is therefore asking the court to award him the sum of $5m as exemplary and aggravated damages.
The US based lawyer is also asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves or through their privies, from further defaming his character whether by print, electronic or online media.
He is also asking the court to order the defendants to write a letter of apology to him and publish same in all social media news platforms, in two national newspapers in Nigeria and one newspaper circulating in the United States of America.
In the affidavit in support of the suit, Ogebe said through his lawyer, “The Plaintiff and the escaped Chibok school girls visited the United States Congress upon arrival of the Chibok girls to the US whereupon the girls were welcomed to the United States of America. On one of such occasions three of the schoolgirls along with the plaintiff met with Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson on 09 September 2014. The Plaintiff hereby pleads and shall rely on a copy of the official photograph issued by the United States Congress to mark the visit where he is duly recognized as the project leader”.
He further stated, “For dubious reasons, the defendants spearheaded by the 2nd and 3rd defendants began a malicious campaign to tarnish the image of the claimant culminating in a press conference convened by the 3rd Defendant, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, on September 9th, 2016 aired to the whole world through print, electronic and online media where the defendants alleged that claimant took the Chibok girls to US under the guise of taking them to school but did not in fact do so thus warranting the government’s intervention.
“The Plaintiff hereby pleads and shall rely on three online media reports of the news conference of the 2nd and 3rd Defendants covered by (a) The Cable News online report of 09 September 2016; (b) Premium Times online News Story as published on website also of 09 September 2016; and (c) Anadolu Agency online publication of 09 September 2016 as published on the news website”, he said

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