Alleged defamation: Enugu APC chairman demands N2bn damages from ex-publicity secretary

Agballah

The chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Barr Ugochukwu Agballah has given the former publicity secretary of the party in the state, Mr. Charles Solo Ako, 48 hours ultimatum to retract, apologize and pay him the sum of N2 billion being damages for an alleged defamatory publication he made in the media.

In a letter to Charles Solo-Ako, by Agballah’s solicitor, Vincent Chieyine, Esq., dated March 30, 2023, and sighted by journalists in Enugu, weekend, the state chairman of APC accused the former publicity secretary of maliciously publishing so many defamatory statements against him. 

He stated that the former publicity secretary accused him, Agballah, of “converting the All Progressives Congress party into a private company-like status, embezzlement of party funds, exclusion and sidelining of the State Executive Committee (SEC), State Working Committee (SWC) and members of the party in the running of the affairs of the party”.

The letter also alleged that the former publicity secretary falsely published that Agballah “diverted funds meant for the delegates of the APC for the presidential primary election and the money provided by the party for the 2023 general elections,” among other allegations.

Chieyine wrote, “For the avoidance of doubt, our client neither received the alleged sums nor misappropriated nor embezzled the above stated funds as alleged in your publication or otherwise.

“Your publication is a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image and reputation of our client and blackmail him before the All Progressives Congress (APC), its leadership, members of the party and the general public.

“It is quite evident that your defamatory publication was as a result of your removal from the office of Publicity Secretary of the party (which you had been illegally assuming and usurping for long) by the State Working Committee and ratification of same by the State Executive Committee on the 28th of March, 2023.”

Agballah further alleged through his lawyer that Ako’s false publication was no doubt maliciously done to divert attention from his obvious misdeeds in the party.

Agballah said that Ako ought to have known before his removal as member of SWC that all the money used in the campaign and running of the party in the state, were provided by Chief Uche Nnaji, the Governorship Candidate, and same disbursed directly to the wards and local governments, and never through the state executive.

He made it clear that campaign was over and he would no longer tolerate any malicious publication against his hard earned reputation.

The state chairman of APC therefore demanded Ako’s immediate retraction of his libelous online publication made on 29th and 30th March 2023 asserting its falsity; publication of full page apology to the chairman, vetted by his client’s firm and published in five online media outfits and three National Dailies; and payment of Two Billion Naira (N2b) damages for defamation of character.

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