By Temi Ohakwe, Abuja.
Lawyers representing Former Acting Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Mr Abubakar Gana, have presented a formal request to SaharaReporters for a public apology and retraction of 3 defamatory publications within 7 days.
Victor Giwa & Associates, conveyed the demand in a letter made available to Journalists and addressed to the editor-in-chief of the online platform, dated October 5, 2020, in which the law firm described the reports as “libellous, defamatory and capable of lowering Gana’s reputation in the eyes of the public.”
“The above statements and publications against our client are libelous, defamatory and they are capable of lowering his reputation in the eyes of the public and in the minds of right thinking persons in the society”
It is on this note that we are urgently making the following demands: That you cause to be made a public apology to our client in two national dailies within 7 days of publication of this notice.
“That you pull down and retract all stories and reports relating to our client on the above subject within 7 days of the publication of this notice on your webpage. That you publish same apology on your webpage within 7 days of the publication of this notice,” the letter read in part.
The online media had, in a series of reports, levelled allegations against Gana, accusing him of fraud, charges the Former Registrar of NECO has debunked as false and malicious.
In its latest publication of October 2, 2020, the online media publication published a story with the headline, “Education Ministry Permanent Secretary, Echono, Former NECO Acting Registrar, Gana, Others Fingered In N6bn Contract Fraud.”
In it publication, the U.S based media has stated that the indefinite suspension of the former Registrar, Prof Charles Uwakwe on May 10, 2018 provided Echono the opportunity to closely interfere in the procurement process of the examination council using Alih as his proxy,” it said.
Victor Giwa & Associates, in their letter, however debunked the allegations as lame and manifestly ignorant as the procurement process of NECO or other parastatals does not involve the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education.
The lawyers also noted that all the contracts under Gana’s time were dully awarded and satisfactorily executed, noting that the allegations were “false, malicious, spurious and intended to injure our client’s reputation which he has built for over three decades.”