Abiola’s widow sues IGP, demands N100bn damages for ‘defamation’

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A N100 billion defamation lawsuit has been filed by Zainab-Duke Abiola, the late MKO Abiola’s widow, against the Nigerian police and inspector general Usman Baba.

The police had detained Zainab and her domestic employees in September 2022 for reportedly torturing her orderly, Teju Moses.

They were charged with “criminal conspiracy, causing criminal harm without provocation, attempting to commit culpable homicide, and intentionally insulting to induce a breach of confidence” before a magistrate court in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja.

Zainab, however, claimed that the police had set her up in a lawsuit with the filing number FHC/CS/ABJ/CS/2370/2022 that was brought before an Abuja federal high court.

“Such an incident never took place in my house as there are CCTV cameras all over the street surroundings to debunk the claim,” she said.

“Contrary to the allegations, I have never asked the former orderly to carry out any domestic chores as sophisticated robot machines like Alexa are installed in the palace.

“I was never a suspect but a victim of a frame-up by the defendants.”

Other defendants identified include Teju Moses and one engineer Ibrahim who Zainab claimed was the IGP’s adopted son in addition to the police and the IGP.

Before being charged by the authorities, Zainab said she never physically hurt Moses but was instead “abducted and tormented during the ungodly hours of the night with a nightgown.”

The plaintiff continued by stating that the defendants’ treatment of her was not only degrading and amounted to a waiver of her rights and respect for her as a person, but it also caused her a significant deal of anguish and suffering.

She claimed to have suffered “severe damage, trauma, and bad health, decreasing her position and recognition in the worldwide community” as a result of the incident, she told the court.

“The plaintiff states further that acts of the defendants are libelous, scandalous, slanderous and defamatory by calling her unprintable names both in conventional and social media,” the statement of claim reads.

Specifically, the plaintiff is praying for an order of the court, “directing the defendants to issue a press statement retracting the assertions they made earlier”.

“An order of court directing the defendants to pay the plaintiffs the sum of N100billion as damages for the defamation, shame, ridicule, harassment, trauma, humiliation and public embarrassment suffered by the plaintiffs.

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“An order of the court directing the defendants to pay the sum of N100m as the cost of this suit.

“An order of this court directing the defendants to pay the sum of N1bn as general damages.

As well as, “An award of 10 per cent interest on the judgment sum from the date of judgment until final liquidation of the judgment.’’

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Tijani Pepper is a news reporter at Panel News, and gistreportar. He is a passionate journalist in Politics, Sports development and investigative journalism.
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