Ex Governor Threatens to Sue Senate President for Defamation

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Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has issued a stern warning to Senate President Godswill Akpabio, threatening legal action over alleged defamatory remarks made against him. The altercation stems from comments made by Akpabio during Senator Barinada Mpigi’s thanksgiving service in Koroma, Tai Local Government Area, Rivers State on February 18.

Akpabio purportedly stated that the administration of President Bola Tinubu did not know what crime to charge Emefiele with, insinuating that the former CBN governor had left behind an economic mess. Emefiele, through his legal representative Mathew Burkaa (SAN), fired back with a demand for a written apology to be published in the media, or face a staggering N25 billion lawsuit.

In the letter addressed to Akpabio, Emefiele’s lawyer asserted that the Senate President’s remarks portrayed Emefiele as the sole cause of Nigeria’s hardships, implying he was a “serial offender” responsible for the nation’s economic woes. Emefiele vehemently denied these allegations, emphasizing that such statements undermined the integrity of the court and prejudiced his ongoing legal defense.

Furthermore, Emefiele highlighted the inappropriate timing of Akpabio’s comments, noting that they were made on a matter currently before the courts, thereby potentially influencing judicial proceedings. He also refuted claims of single-handedly shaping economic policies, citing his role as a minister in the previous administration, where decisions required approval from higher authorities.

The escalating feud underscores tensions between political figures and highlights the potential legal ramifications of public statements. As Emefiele stands firm in his demand for retraction and apology, the saga between the former CBN governor and the Senate President continues to unfold, raising questions about accountability and freedom of speech in Nigeria’s political landscape.

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