Emi Systems Nigeria Limited, one of the companies indicted by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has given the Presidency seven days ultimatum to retract the publication which it described as false or be sued.
In a letter titled, Re: Buhari’s Panel indicts over 300 ONSA Contractors, recovers N7 billion”, counsel to the company, Greenfeild Chambers said the publication disparaged its client before right thinking men in the society as it completed and handed over all jobs it was awarded way back in 2002.
“Our client’s attention was drawn by their customers, business associates and contractors to the press statement accredited to Garba Shehu, the Special Assistant (media) to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the report from the investigating panel of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to the effect that EMI Systems Ltd was indicted as a company which ‘outrightly failed to execute contract(s) or did so partially and have therefore been asked to refund various sums’.
“Our client finds the above press ‘statement of indictment’ as unfounded, false, baseless and does not reflect the true state of affairs regarding the contracts handled by our client and the engagement by our client with the investigating panel that led to several joint site verification visits carried out by the panel and our client.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state unequivocally that all the contracts awarded to EMI Systems by the ONSA have been fully completed and the contracts were awarded in 2012”, Emeka Obegolu of Greenfeild Chambers said.
The solicitor to the company claimed that the publication cast their client as “a company with no track record of project management and completion; a company that cannot be trusted with contracts in the public sector of any serious government, and a company lacking in integrity and corporate ethics in their day to day business.”
They explained that the contract awarded to them was valued at €722,059.96 for the four contracts, almost four years ago and the contracts had since been performed to the satisfaction of the ONSA.
According to them, they were invited and honoured the investigative panel where they presented documentary evidence to the satisfaction of all parties showing that they did not have any outstanding obligation with the only area of doubt being whether the payment received by the company was net or inclusive of all taxes.
“That the panel insisted that our client should pay taxes on the payments made to it while our client opined that as a matter of practice, government withholds taxes before payment is made, as the items supplied were individually priced.
“That the tax issue was not conclusive as our client is consulting with tax practitioners to get professional advice on the issue of tax liability as stated above,” they stated.
Obegolu said that there was never a time their client was accused of non-completion of jobs in the 20 years they had been into security solutions and contractual relationships.
“We therefore, on behalf of EMI Systems Ltd, demand that Mr. Garba Shehu issues an immediate retraction of the misleading publication concerning our client and a letter addressed to our client conveying the said retraction. This is the minimum that will assuage the battered corporate image of our client and reassure their customers of the corporate integrity of our client and continuing commitment to excellent service delivery.
“Take notice therefore, that unless we receive the letter of retraction within seven (7) days of the date of receipt of this letter, we have our client’s standing instruction to employ all legal means to seek redress for the publication including seeking damages in libel before a court of competent jurisdiction,” they demanded.