The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai has threatened to file N10 billion libel suit against Alhaji Mahdi Shehu, a Kaduna-based businessman, over alleged claims that the army chief recently received N250 million cash as welfare from Katsina state government recently.
Naija News reports that Barr Usuagwu Ogochukwu, a Private Counsel to Buratai, made his client’s position known at a press conference in Katsina, northern Nigeria on Tuesday.
The Private Counsel to Buratai described the allegation by the Whistleblower as “malicious, false, fabricated and fact-less” which he said Mahdi Shehu failed to substantiate.
Buratai through his counsel, also stressed that the allegations were broadcast with the intent of causing injury to the person of General Buratai, noting that the claims contained in the text of the press conference constitute defamation of character.
The Chief of Army Staff accused the Kaduna businessman of concocting the claims as no payment voucher was enclosed in the 15-page press release read by Mahdi Shehu before newsmen on the 7th of July, 2020 in Kaduna.
“I have the instructions of Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to demand the immediate retraction of the defamatory publication by Shehu Mahdi by way of an unequivocal apology published in at least three local newspapers in Katsina state within 48 hours.
“Otherwise I shall commence a libel suit against him and I shall be claiming the sum of N10 billion as damages for defamation,” Ogochukwu said.
The Private Counsel to Buratai said the Katsina government had made its position clear in a written letter dated 15/7/2020 disowning Mahdi’s claim addressed to the Army Chief, saying; it’s now clear that the sleazy aim of Shehu Mahdi and his cohorts are to cause ill-will and incite the good people of katsina against Lt Gen T Y Burutai and cause him to lose concentration in keeping the peace and security in Katsina.”
Meanwhile, Naija News reports that the development is coming after the Kaduna businessman had alleged at a press briefing in Kaduna that the Katsina state government had withdrawn the sum of N250 million in General Buratai’s name as welfare for the Army Chief after he launched the 17 Brigade office of the Nigerian Army in Katsina in 2017 and dared Buratai to confirm or deny receipt of the said amount.