Buhari campaign group drags Atiku to court

The Buhari Campaign Organisation has instituted a N40million defamation suit against the People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.

The campaign group is accusing Abubakar of defaming president Muhammadu Buhari and his family.

The suit, filed before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, is asking the court to compel the PDP standard-bearer to pay damages for alleging that the President and his family members own substantial shares in 9mobile and Keystone Bank.

Abubakar through his spokesperson, Shaibu, on December 26, demanded a probe into the ownership of Etisalat Nigeria and Keystone Bank.

He said the call was necessary “in view of reports that members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s family now own substantial share in Etisalat Nigeria which has an estimated $2 billion (about N727 billion at 360 per dollar) of its estimated $20 billion global net worth.”

The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that “the 1st Defendant (Phrank Shaibu) on behalf and for the 2nd Defendant (Atiku) neglectfully, unlawfully and recklessly permitted and caused to be published in Newspapers, defamatory and damaging statements against the 1st Plaintiff (President Buhari)”.

While the telecommunication company are yet to refute the claims by Abubakar, the management of Keystone Bank says it has no ties with Buhari.

“The fact of the ownership of Keystone Bank by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria was never in doubt. On March 23, 2017, AMCON divested its ownership of Keystone Bank after successful bidding that followed due process,” the Bank said in a statement on January 9, 2019.

“We confirm that the Sigma Golf-Riverbank Consortium owns 100 per cent of Keystone Bank. From the records available to us which are verifiable at the Corporate Affairs Commission, the core investors (Sigma Golf Nigeria Limited and Riverbank Investment Resources Limited) have no relationship with either President Muhammadu Buhari or Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, as may be widely speculated.”

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