Politics

Suspended minister Betta Edu threatens BBC with $50 million defamation lawsuit

Betta Edu, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has issued a stern warning to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), threatening legal action for alleged defamation.

In a letter signed by her counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Edu demanded a whopping $50 million in compensation from the renowned media organization.

The letter, directed to both BBC’s Abuja and London offices, accuses the BBC of disseminating false information regarding an ongoing Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigation, alleging that N30 billion was recovered from the suspended minister.

According to the lawyer, the BBC’s publication has inflicted immeasurable reputational damage, psychological trauma, and anguish upon Edu.

The letter criticizes the BBC for its article, asserting that it implies guilt on Edu’s part without affording her the presumption of innocence.

Furthermore, the letter lambasts the BBC for breaching journalistic fairness and due process by failing to provide Edu with an opportunity to respond to the allegations before publishing the article.

“For the avoidance of doubt, our client has neither been indicted nor found culpable of any act of financial impropriety in relation to her stewardship of the Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Ministry in Nigeria.

“It is also pertinent to emphasize that neither N30 billion nor any amount whatsoever has been traced to or recovered from our client’s bank accounts nor has any proceeds of crime been traced or recovered from her to warrant the scurrilous article under reference.

“Suffice it to say that in the aftermath of the publication of this scandalous article (which the BBC caused to be disseminated to millions of persons across the globe), our client has been inundated by calls and messages from friends, associates expressing their shock and consternation.

“Our client has suffered immeasurable reputational damage, psychological trauma and anguish as a direct consequence of the publication and dissemination of the article,” parts of the letter read.

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