A former member of the House of Representatives, Ned Nwoko has threatened to sue SaharaReporters over two publications, one relating to how he attempted to forcibly acquire additional 90 hectares of land in his community.
Nwoko made the threat in a letter signed by his counsel, Onyeka Nwokolo of Rolls Law Firm to the editor of the newspaper.
SaharaReporters had reported how the former lawmaker instigated the arrest of Chukwunonso Nwoko, a former monarch of the Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, and subsequently asked the police to ransack his palace for opposing his attempt to forcibly acquire additional 90 hectares of land from an area earmarked for all indigenes of the community.
This was after the former monarch had been abducted by the police and detained at Asaba police cell.
Chukwunonso, who was charged with murder as orchestrated by Nwoko, was later released on the orders of the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
A source familiar with the police operations said it was Nwoko who informed the police command in Asaba that the palace was heavily loaded with sophisticated weapons of war.
SaharaReporters had also reported how the former lawmaker lured some prominent African leaders to invest in some of his ‘fictitious giant projects’
“He claims he wants to eradicate malaria from Africa and is junketing round the world, visiting kings and presidents to sell his malaria eradication vision. Many presidents have unknowingly fallen for this and gone into collaboration with him. He is on the prowl and must be stopped before he sells Nigeria one day.
“How can one man tell us that he wants to embark on the aerial fumigation of Africa using helicopters? Not done, Prince Ned has begun a campaign that he wants to fund the production of a malaria vaccine. Ned is not a scientist and has no knowledge of vaccines. His only interest is to rip off nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Finally, anyone still in doubt, please take a trip to Idumuje-Ugboko community. The town is now a shadow of its former self,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters also published in May how Nwoko ordered Delta State Police Command to arrest Okey Ifejoku, elected President-General of Idumeje-Ugboko Development Union in 2017.
The former lawmaker had accused Ifejoku of sponsoring the indigenes of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State to protest against him and kick against his bid to forcibly acquire additional 90 hectares of land from an area earmarked for all indigenes of the community.
Also, the President of Idumuje-Ugboko in the Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state, Raymond Omesiete, has spent months in prison for allegedly resisting Nwoko’s attempt to forcibly acquire additional 90 hectares of land from an area earmarked for all indigenes of the community.
SaharaReporters gathered that Raymond was arrested by the police acting on Nwoko’s directive on November 23, 2020, and was detained at the police headquarters in Asaba, the state capital.
In reaction, Nwoko demanded a retraction from SaharaReporters with an apology carried out with the same prominence on the platform and two national dailies.
He added that the publications by the newspaper had caused him trauma and damaged his reputation before right-thinking persons across the world.
The former lawmaker also demanded N10 billion as compensation.
The letter reads partly, “The publication you made were read by the public within and outside Nigeria and it has cost our client his reputation as well meaning Nigerians are beginning to look at our client with contempt and disdain and he is being ridiculed and openly embarrassed as a land grabber and extortionist.
“His involvement in proposed businesses and several other activities are met with sudden cold shoulder and silent rebuff since after your false and malicious publication.
“They believe your false story and think our client is a dishonest person. Your repetition of these falsehood and garnishing same with new addition on each occasion betrays a deliberate baiting of our client to a reaction and a response.
“We therefore formally make the following demands from you. That you publish in two national newspapers as well as in your online news media statements retracting the libelous publication of 14th August, 2020 and 15th December 2021 respectively with an unreserved apology.
“That the sum of N10,000,000,000 (Ten billion naira) only be paid to our client as compensation for the malicious, false and disparaging publications.”