Alleged Defamation: Abiola’s wife sues Police, demands N100bn damages

PROF. Zainab-Duke Abiola, widow of acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola, has instituted a N100 billion defamation suit against the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Alkali. 

Also cited as 3rd and 4th defendants in the suit, marked FHC/CS/ABJ/CS/2370/2022, which was filed before the Federal High Court, in Abuja, are one Ibrahim, who was identified as an adopted son of the IGP, as well as the plaintiff’s former police orderly, Inspector Teju Moses. 

In the statement of claim filed through her team of lawyers, led by Mr. Tawo Tawo, SAN, Prof. Abiola told the court that she was on September 20, 2022, framed up by the Defendants with an allegation that she assaulted her erstwhile orderly, Inspector Moses.

Prof. Abiola averred that following a false allegation that she assaulted her former orderly for refusing to carry out domestic chores at her home, she was “abducted and tortured during the unholy hours of the night with a night gown”, and later arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja by the Police.

She told the court that the incident caused her so much damage, trauma, ill-health and reduced her standing and recognition in the global community.

According to the plaintiff, news of her arraignment, which was carried by both the print and the electronic media, lowered her estimation in the eyes of right thinking members of the society.

“The plaintiff states further that acts of the defendants are libelous, scandalous, slanderous and defamatory by calling her unprintable names both in conventional and social media.

“The plaintiff hereby pleads and shall rely on all relevant materials and documents touching and pertaining to this suit at the hearing, and the defendants are hereby given notice to produce the documents, including videos and tapes in their possession”, the statement of claim further read.

While insisting that she was arrested in a manner that abrogated her constitutional rights as a Nigerian citizen, Prof. Abiola pleaded the court to not only compel the defendants to pay damages to her, but to also tender an apology to her in all print and electronic media. 

Specifically, Prof. Abiola is seeking an order of the court, “directing the defendants to issue a press statement retracting the assertions they made earlier.

“An order of court directing the defendants to pay the plaintiffs the sum of N100billion as damages for the defamation, shame, ridicule, harassment, trauma, humiliation and public embarrassment suffered by the plaintiffs.

“An order of the court directing the defendants to pay the sum of N100m as the cost of this suit.