The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, has sued a former spokesman for the party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Kassim Afegbua, for defamation of character.
Recall that Afegbua had dragged Secondus before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practice and Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) over the management of the finances of the party.
Afegbua alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Secondus have been shrouded in mystery and accused the leadership of a deliberate attempt to short-change the party in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
In the petition, he asked the anti-graft agencies to look into and scrutinise close to N10 billion that allegedly accrued to the party’s purse from 2017 till date, especially those that were as a result of sales of nomination forms for presidential, governorship, House of Assembly, and senatorial elections.
Afegbua alleged that the national chairman avoided the use of the party’s bank accounts and used one Morufu Nigeria Limited as a conduit pipe for financial mismanagement in the sales of forms in 2019.
Describing the alleged action as an aberration, he called on the EFCC and ICPC chairmen to urgently ensure that due diligence was carried out to safeguard Nigeria’s democracy and guarantee the interest of the party’s members.
However, in a letter dated April 29, 2021, and addressed to Afegbua, Secondus has demanded N1bn in damages and an apology from the former Edo commissioner within 48 hours
The letter signed by his lawyer, Emeka Etaiba, Secondus said Afegbua made some defamatory claims against the PDP chairman in a press statement he authored.
According to him, claims made in the statement portrayed Secondus as a fraudulent man whose financial dealings are shady.
He added that it also portrayed the PDP chairman as a fraudster who is incapable of holding the office of the party’s national chairman.
Etiaba said, Afegbua’s false claims have challenged his (Secondus’) right standing in the society as a trustworthy person.
He added, “The above publications were read worldwide and most especially in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria and this fact has been confirmed by the phone calls that have trailed your publications.
“Take notice that if you fail to retract your said publications, apologise to our client in the said newspapers with the same prominence with which you published the offensive statements and pay the sum of N1bn to him as damages all within 48 hours from the date hereof, we shall proceed to institute an action to seek redress from a court of competent jurisdiction.”