Chief of Army Staff Threatens Kaduna Business Man with N10bn Libel Suit

General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff on Tuesday, gave a 48-hour ultimatum to a Kaduna-based businessman, Mahdi Shehu, to retract the alleged defamation against him (Buratai) or be ready to face a N10bn suit.

Buratai also directed the business man to tender a written apology to him in three local newspapers in Katsina State within 48 hours.

General Buratai, who addressed a press conference in Katsina through his lawyer, Usuagwu Ogochukwu, said the businessman had alleged that he (COAS) received N250m from Katsina State Government for the setting up of a new Army Battalion in the state.

The Army Chief described the said allegation as malicious, without fact and fabricated.

According to the Punch newspaper, the businessman had alleged during a press conference in Kaduna that the Katsina State Government gave N250m to General Buratai as “welfare package” for the establishment of new army Battalion in the state on November 15, 2017.

Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, had earlier, also debunked the allegation, which he described as baseless and calculated attempt to blackmail the state government.

Ogochukwu said at the briefing in Katsina, “I have the instructions of Lt General T. Y. 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 and not excluding further criminal prosecution vide law enforcement agencies, including that of the Directorate of Legal Services, Army,” he threatened.

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