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Defamation: Abe drags two Rivers APC chieftains, journalists to court

By: Felix Ikpotor

The immediate past senator representing Rivers South East in the National Assembly, Magnus Ngei Abe has dragged two chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC,  in Rivers State to court for alleged defamation and character assassination.

The party chieftains are; Lucky Worluh and Chief Chukwuemeka Eze.

The senator alleged that the duo of Worluh and Eze made several publications accusing him of working with Rivers State Governor against the party and also plotting along with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to assassinate President Mohammadu Buhari.

Also sued alongside the party stalwarts are two journalist, Mr. Bisi Olaniyi of Nation Newspaper and  Iheanachor Davies of Vanguard newspaper.

Abe who revealed this in a statement personally signed by him yesterday, also chronicled the genesis of the crisis in Rivers APC.

The statement reads thus:

Nigerians are aware that the crisis in the APC in Rivers state had its origin in the unconstitutional decision of the leader of the party in the state, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to summarily expel me, and other leaders of the party in the state seen as Sympathetic to my Governorship ambition for no discernible reason.

He announced this publicly at the meeting of Party stakeholders held at the Dome.

He stated at that meeting that Senator Abe and all those sympathetic to him must leave the party and went further to state that he was ready to destroy the party in Rivers state to Achieve that objective.

Despite the pleas of several leaders present at that meeting. In fact, Mr Loolo Ibieneye told him that the path he has chosen was not only unconstitutional but will lead the party to disaster.

Incidentally, this was the last day that Rivers APC sat together in Unity with Amaechi present.

The directive to unilaterally exclude party members from all party activities without due process is the origin and the root of the Crisis in the party.

Indeed prior to the troubled congresses, the then state chairman of the party Chief Ibiamo Ikanya called an all-inclusive stakeholders/state SEC meeting of Rivers APC where all the issues were amicably resolved, including the distribution of forms to all aspiring party members.

An all-inclusive committee was set up to implement the resolutions of that meeting, as soon as the Minister was informed of this move, he not only dissolved the Committee, but he voided the efforts and consensus decisions reached by the entire leadership.

He directed that in keeping with his earlier directives at the Dome, members of the party perceived as sympathetic to Senator Abe be excluded from the Congresses and denied the forms they paid for.

Those members Ibrahim Umar and 22 others went to court, they rightfully secured an injunction on the facts which he again directed the party to disobey. The rest, as they say, is history.

In an unprecedented sponsored media campaign the facts were buried and recrafted, one Chukwuemeka Eze a hired publicist for the minister became the face of this attempt to rewrite history.

Those who went to Court were accused of working for Governor Wike and the PDP, the courts were promoted as Wike’s supermarkets, some of Amaechi’s publicist such as Oby Ndukwe, and Lucky Worlu went as far as accusing me of plotting with the Vice President to kill President Buhari and collecting billions of Naira From Governor Wike and the PDP to destabilize the APC in Rivers state.

I was painted to the Nigerian public as a desperate politician who destroyed his party because of his personal ambition.

These false and baseless allegations moved beyond the social media and became accepted as truth to a point were credible media like THE NATION NEWSPAPER, and THE VANGUARD was confident enough to carry this smear campaign on their pages and give it legitimacy and credibility.

It is for this reason that I have instituted suit PHC/3314/2019-SENATOR MAGNUS ABE VS. 1. CHIEF EZE CHUKWUEMEKA EZE 2. VINTAGE PRESS LIMITED (Publisher of the Nation Newspaper) 3. DELE ADEOLUWA 4. BISI OLANIYI.

Also, Suit No. PHC/3663/2019 ~ Senator Magnus Ngei Abe vs. 1. Sir{Hon.} Lucky Worluh. 2. Vanguard Media Limited{Publisher, Sunday Vanguard}. 3. Davies Iheamnachor{Reporter, Sunday Vanguard}. 4. Wale Akinola{Editor, Sunday Vanguard}, to give an opportunity to those who have made these allegations in an effort to rewrite the history of the Rivers APC Crisis to come before the courts, and the public and present the facts on which they stand.

My integrity and my reputation remain my most valuable assets, if I lose that to the politics of hate and deceit then I would have lost everything.

My lawsuit, therefore, is not intended as a war against any media house, it is a rather open challenge to those who have peddled falsehood when they know the truth to now present the facts behind their falsehood or forever be shamed to silence.

My lawsuit is not targeted at any media house it is rather an opportunity for those who proclaim this wickedness to bring their facts before the courts and justify their perfidy.

I appeal to all men of goodwill to remember that all the gold on earth is worth nothing if we lose our name.

I plead for your cooperation and understanding.

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