A former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, has filed a lawsuit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission asking for damages of N10bn for alleged defamation by declaring him wanted.
Omisore, who instituted the case before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja is also seeking an order restraining the EFCC from further publishing any libelous publication against him.
According to a statement of claim made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Saturday by an ally of Omisore, Mr. Diran Odeyemi, who is also the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, the plaintiff joined the spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwajaren as the second defendant.
He claimed that the defendants damaged his good reputation by allegedly concocting falsehood against him and portraying him as somebody who could not be trusted in an advertorial published in The Nation newspaper of May 18, 2016.
The anti-corruption agency had declared Omisore wanted for his refusal to honour its invitation in a case of receiving and misappropriation of over N700m between June–November 2014 from the office of the National Security Adviser.
The plaintiff said a court had restrained the EFCC from arresting him, but despite this order coupled with the fact that the agency had issues with him in the case, they declared him wanted and portrayed him as a fugitive.
He stated that the advertorial that newspapers published portrayed him as a dishonest person, who was seeking to evade the law.
The statement of claim read in part, “Plaintiff avers that the content of the publication in Page 37 of the Nation Newspaper of 25th May, 2016 is completely false, misleading and defamatory of the Plaintiff.
“The Plaintiff states that by the publication, the Defendants have damaged his character, integrity and person by alluding as follows:
“That the Plaintiff is a fugitive of dishonourable character seeking to elude the law.
“That the Plaintiff is a fraudster who has deliberately refused to honour an invitation by the 1st Defendant in relation to criminal allegations of fraud.
“That the Plaintiff lacks financial credibility and has been involved in criminal misappropriation.
“That the Plaintiff’s hard-earned reputation is questionable.
“That the Plaintiff is a person to be avoided and shunned by the Society being a fugitive and a man of questionable character.”
He explained that sometime in 2014, Fimex Gilt Ltd. presented some proposals to the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) on some security services it could render towards combating the scourge of terrorism and influx of terrorists into the country.
The plaintiff stated that Dasuki entered into a contract with the company on border protection and intelligence services and the company was directed to execute the project and payment would be made.
The document read, “Prior to the payment made by the former National Security Adviser on the contract, he (the Plaintiff)was approached and he had loaned Fimex Gilt Ltd some of the funds required by Fimex Gilt Ltd to perform the contract.
“Upon receipt of the payment by Fimex Gilt Ltd from the former National Security Adviser for the execution of the contract, the Managing Director of Fimex Gilt Ltd known as Adetona David Famadewa who is well known to the Plaintiff on behalf of Fimex Gilt Ltd repaid the fund loaned to Fimex Gilt Ltd to the Plaintiff.
“The Plaintiff had no further interests, affiliations or dealings with Fimex Gilt Ltd and was not in any way involved in the performance of the contract between the former National Security Adviser and Fimex Gilt Ltd.”
He stated further that despite that the defendants were aware that be had nothing to do with the company they had continued to harass and intimidate him, asking him to refund all monies by the former National Security Adviser in relation to the contract.