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Benue: APC longs-serving ACTING spokesman in trouble, dragged to court

Written By Idoma Television on Thursday, May 4, 2017 | 8:05:00 AM

19th April, 2017 MR. BERGER ALFRED EMBERGA
Ag. PUBLICITY SECRETARY
ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS
BENUE STATE CHAPTER,
MAKURDI, BENUE STATE.

Dear Sir,
RE: DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER OF MR. JAMES OCHE BY MR. BERGER ALFRED EMBERGA

The above refers.

We are solicitors and our services have been retained by Mr. James Oche (Hereinafter referred to as our client) on whose firm instruction we act.

Our client as you are aware is a grass root politician of over 13 years experience which has earned him accolades and respect due to his integrity and conscientiousness which is without any blemish whatsoever.

As you are also aware, our client was a Senior Legislative Aide to the erstwhile President of the 6th and 7th Senate, Chief Dr. David A.B Mark GCON and the Ado Local Government Consensus Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming Local Government elections in Benue State scheduled for June 3rd 2017. 

Our client informed us that you in your capacity as the Ag. State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress Benue State chapter granted an interview/press release on the 10th April, 2017 to some selected journalists both in the conventional news media (Newspapers and Television Houses) and online publishers about the fourth coming Local Government Polls in Benue State and our client, wherein you falsely and maliciously made defamatory statements about our client and his Principal.

That we know as of fact that your statement is for and on behalf of the Party in Benue State since you signed off in your official capacity as Ag. Spokesman of the All Progressive Congress, Benue State Chapter.

Our client has shown to us copies of the said publications (which are herein attached) both from the internet online news and some Newspapers as regard your defamatory comments made against him. In your official page/handle, you made the following statements:

UN COVERED: PDP PLANNING TO CAUSE VIOLENCE IN THE STATE.

“We wish to draw the attention of the general public and law enforcement agencies to the purported plan of the Ahmed Maikarfi led faction of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Benue State to cause violence in the state during and after the June 3rd, 2017 Local Government elections in the State.

Sources close to the faction hinted that, there was a meeting of Maikarfi faction held at the residence of the leader of the party in Zone C, where they perfected plans to cause violence in the state, beginning from Zone C, if PDP candidates do not win in the forthcoming Local Government elections.

The meeting which was attended by the former governorship aspirant of the party, a former speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly in the 6th Assembly, who hails from Jemgba and all the Chairmanship aspirants from the Zone in attendance, perfected plans to buy sophisticated weapons which will be used to cause violence in the state, during and after the 3rd June 2017, Local Government elections.

Sources also disclosed that one of the Chairmanship aspirants who worked closely to the leader of the party in Zone C had told the gathering that already his boss has acquired a large number of sophisticated weapons which was enough to take care of all the Local Government in Zone C.

The meeting which was presided over by the leader of the party in the zone, also selected fifteen (15) youths each for all the 23 Local Governments of the State who would be used to harass and snatch ballot boxes on the election day, and one of the Chairmanship aspirants of the party from Ado Local Government Area was given the mandate to lead the squad that will destabilize the peace and intimidate the elections on the day of election in Zone C, while the former governorship aspirant of the party who was in the meeting was asked to go home and choose those that would lead the squad in Zone A and B respectively

We therefore call in our law abiding supporters to be calm as the matter has been reported to the Police and other Law enforcement agencies for appropriate actions.
MR. BERGER ALFRED EMBERGA Mrp
STATE AG. PUBLICITY SECRETARY
ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS
BENUE STATE
10th April, 2017.”


As the official spokesperson of the Ruling Party in the State with substantial followership, a good number of your friends and followers equally featured and/or published your interview/press release which gave it a wide readership in the print and electronic media in Benue State in particular and Nigeria in general and the list is increasing by the minute and same has satisfied all the conditions needed for a successful defamation case against you.

The above excerpts of your interview is to all intents and purposes made maliciously to defame and denigrate the character of our client with the aim to injure our client’s reputation in the minds of right thinking members of the society generally and actors in the Political Space specifically.

The ordinary meaning that will be ascribed to your statement by reasonable persons of ordinary intelligence is that our client is violent, criminally minded and that our client has no moral conscience and lacks ethical behavior.

Our client has been inundated with avalanche of calls and emails from colleagues, friends, family members and clients who have read your defamatory press conference with the News and electronic media.

By your libelous publication, our client’s reputation has been lowered in the estimation of right thinking members of the society which has exposed our client to hatred, contempt and ridicule and also impugned on our client’s character and integrity.

We hereby on behalf of our client demand a written apology to our client and the same should be published in the same way and manner in which your interview/press conference of 10th April, 2017 was done. Our client further demand that you immediately retract the offending publications within seven (7) days upon receipt of this letter, failure of which we would have no other option but to seek redress in the Law Court. 

In addition, our client demands the payment of the sum of N100, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) as compensatory damages for defamation of character. Be warned that the said sum could increase if the publication is not immediately retracted.

Further to the above, our client informed us and we verily believe him that he gathered from sources that the motive of your diatribe against his person is due to your party’s unpopularity in Ado Local Government Area wherein our client is a household name and the consensus candidate of his Party the Peoples Democratic Party.

Our client further informed us that your interview is a precursor to your party’s evil plan, actively hatched and orchestrated by elements within the Benue State Government, in connivance with some unscrupulous members of your Party in Zone C to plant incriminating materials in his home in order to arrest and detain him in perpetuity on trumped up allegations/charges until after the elections must have been held. This is even more worrisome especially as that is your party’s new infantile approach to politics in Benue State. 

Our client further informed us that since your party the APC in Benue State realized it will be rejected by the Ado voters, who have borne the brunt of its misgovernance over the last two years, have resorted to a campaign of calumny against our client , and in addition, the APC in Benue State has now started to play its last card, which is to plant incriminating materials in our client’s home, and/or vehicles during preconceived searches and use same as evidence to effect his arrest and put him out of circulation until after the polls.

Our client further informed us that there are alleged plans to stage-manage some high profile cases of violence and arson, for which he would be blamed and his coordinators and supporters arrested in droves, all in an effort to scuttle free and fair polls and declare your party candidate the winner. This is to say the least most wicked, mundane, callous and irresponsible and will fail.

Finally, we put Nigerians particularly the Benue and Ado people on notice that with the desperation shown by the APC in Benue State especially in Ado Local Government Area, it is not unlikely that more campaigns of calumny, and falsehood would be launched against our client alongside physical harm, injury or assault on his person, supporters and properties, be rest assured that we will in all instances mobilize the full weight of the Laws of the land in the defence of our client. Be warned. “The world is watching”.
Yours faithfully,
For: JOSEPH OCHE & Co.

J.O. Oche ESQ.
07036410329.

CC: 1. AIG Zone 4 Benue State.
2. Commissioner of Police Benue State Command.
3. Director State Security Service, Benue State Command.

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