The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Monday, vowed to sue, an online medium, Sahara Reporters for allegedly publishing defamatory stories against him.
Malami said, the consequence of the criminal defamation published by Sahara Reporters, has subjected him to considerable distress, psychological trauma, anxiety and greatly injured his character and reputation, which is capable of lowering his estimation in the eyes of right-thinking persons in the society.
The Chief Law Officer of the federation said in a statement by his Special Assistant, Press and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu that series of prejudicial articles were published by the Sahara Reporters, which were adverse against him, disparaged his reputation via its online internet platform and broadcast on the internet via the Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other similar Social Media platforms where same could be viewed and assessed by the whole world and further shared and/or disseminated virally without restraint.
He noted particularly that on the 10th, 11th and 12th of July 2020, Sahara Reporters, in what appears like a coordinated attack, viciously wrote and maliciously published libellous and criminally defamatory articles against his personality.
The Minister said the publications were untrue, fabrication or at best a figment of the imagination of Sahara Reporters and are unsupported howsoever.
The AGF said since July 10, 2020, when the defamatory articles were first published, he has been receiving several telephone calls and visits from well-meaning Nigerians, his friends, well-wishers and associates from all over the world including those he has dealt with/still dealing with in his Official Capacity as Nigeria’s Chief Law Officer, many of whom have expressed serious concerns over the publication.
Malami said the malicious, libel and criminal defamation published against him by Sahara Reporters was with a view to disparage him in the eyes of right-thinking persons, contrary to Nigerian Criminal and Penal Laws and a gross violation of his Right to Dignity of Human Person as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended).
He gave the medium seven days ultimatum to retract all the libelous and criminally defamatory publications against him, and issue a public apology to be published on the platform and on the front pages of three national newspapers for three consecutive days.
The statement said a senior lawyer has already been briefed to deal with the matter as may be appropriate, in the event of failure to retract the publication in question and offer the requested apology within the stipulated time.