Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has written the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, demanding an investigation into an allegation that he collected N4 billion in slush money from the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
The petition, dated July 8, 2020, is titled, ‘Criminal Defamation of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), GCON by Jackson Ude.’
The vice president said Ude was in the habit of publishing malicious articles against his person and attached printed copies of some of the blogger’s reports to the petition.
Osinbajo said the articles were defamatory and capable of bringing him to ridicule before members of the public.
He called on the IG to investigate the blogger with a view to prosecuting him for criminal defamation.
An online platform run by Ude, a former Director of Strategy and Communications under President Goodluck Jonathan administration, on July 8, published that Magu embezzled over N39 billion and gave Osinbajo N4 billion for a soft landing.
The report claimed that unnamed sources within the panel investigating Magu “exposed the vice president’s involvement in the scandal.”
“Specifically, Magu was said to have mentioned a N4 billion that he released to the VP based on directives the very day the president left the country for the United Kingdom on medical treatment,” part of the report read.
In an earlier statement, Osinbajo’s spokesperson, Mr. Laolu Akande, had described the claims as “false and baseless fabrications.”
Osinbajo in the petition to the IG through his lawyer, Mr. Taiwo Osipitan, said the report was untrue and defamatory.
He also copied the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, in the petition.
The petition read in part: “On the 8th of July 2020, Mr. Ude wrote and published on his website materials/stories which are criminally defamatory of our client. We have the instructions of our client that the said publications are injuriously false in every respect.
“These vicious and malicious publications are meant to achieve one objective only, to present to his readership and others (Nigerians and foreigners) that our client is a dishonest and disloyal public officer and consequently unfit for the position of Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is occupying.
“We are of the view that unless an action for criminal defamation is commenced against the said Mr. Jackson Ude, he will continue to use his social media platform to publish materials that are false and criminally defamatory of our client’s reputation.
“In view of the above, we humbly request that you cause the above allegations made against our client to be investigated and if the suggested investigation confirms our complaint of the falsehood of these allegations, to initiate criminal proceedings pursuant to the provisions of Sections 391-395 of the Penal Code Act for criminal defamation against the said Jackson Ude.”
Osinbajo also frowned on Ude’s Twitter publication where he again accused him of corruption.
“HushBajo. N4billion. The Ghana investment. Okechukwu Enelamah the errand boy.
The secretly recorded night vigil prayers at the Villa Chapel. The letter of resignation written for Buhari in Tunis by Tinubu/Osinabjo while Ba was sick. The scheming to take over, etc. This na pay back,” the tweet read.
The tweet was said to have been shared on several social media platforms to make the vice president appear like a “dishonest and disloyal public officer and consequently unfit for the position of the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which he is occupying,” the petition said.
The lawyer asked the IG to investigate the allegations and if the purveyor was found guilty, the police should initiate criminal proceedings against Ude and his platform to restrain them from future ‘false publications.’