Atiku Signs Witness Statement in N2.5bn Libel Suit against Buhari’s Aide, Onochie

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was on Tuesday at the Registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to sign his witness deposition (on Oath) before the Commissioner for Oaths, in the case he instituted against Lauretta Onochie, an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Atiku, who was candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, had in May this year threatened legal action against Onochie, who is the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media,

The legal action was connected to a publication wherein, Onochie in her twitter handle alleged that Atiku was on the watchlist of security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The SA to Buhari in the said publication of May 7, 2019, which was also published by many newspapers and online media platforms, also accused Atiku of shopping for terrorists in the Middle East.

Atiku had while challenging the victory of President Buhari in the February 23 presidential poll at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and the Supreme Court remained in the UAE until last week when he returned to the country.

In a letter dated May 14, 2019 and written on his behalf, his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, described Onochie’s statement as not only vile and denigrating but a calculated attempt to disparage the person of Atiku in the eyes of right thinking members of the public.

Onochie had on May 7, 2019 in her twitter handle alleged that, “Atiku on UAE watchlist – security sources. Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who has been in Middle East nation for several weeks now. What is he doing there? Me: shopping for terrorists?

But in his reaction, the PDP candidate, insisted that there is no iota of Truth in the said publication which was beginning to affect public perception of his person, adding that, the publication since it was made has caused him national and international backlash and embarrassment as well as incalculable damages.

“To say that our client is shopping for terrorists is not only dishonest and reckless but is calculated and politically designed to instigate security agents against him not only in the UAE but across the world”, Ozekhome said.