Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, has demanded the sum of N500 million as damages and a written apology from Lauretta Onochie, Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, for “tweeting lies” about him on Twitter.
The letter, addressed to directly Onochie, was signed by Mike Ozekhome, who is Atiku’s lawyer.
The letter noted that Atiku took a particular offence to a tweet purportedly made by Onochie, which read: “Atiku on UAE watch list- Security Sources.”
According to the former vice president, he has never been placed under a security watchlist by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He stated that the actions of the presidential aide by “spreading lies” was “capable of damaging” his reputation.”
The letter read: “We have our client’s instructions to demand and we hereby demand from you the following: That you publish and tender a written retraction and apology for the said libellous publication in six national dailies circulating in Nigeria and one international daily as well as on all social media platforms wherein the said publication was made.
“That you pay to our client through the firm, the sum of N500,000,000 only, representing minimal damages to assuage his already battered image wholly caused by your said defamatory publication.”
Atiku gave Onochie 48 hours to accede to the “modest demands” or face a legal suit worth N2 billion in damages.
“We shall be, in such a suit, claiming against you the sum of N2bn, representing exemplary aggravated and punitive damages,” the letter read.
Onochie, who tweets with the handle @Laurestar, is considered to be a firebrand character due to her urge to verbally attack critics and political opponents of her principal on social media.