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Betta Edu Threatens BBC With Lawsuit, Demands $50m Compensation

Posted by Samuel on Wed 10th Apr, 2024 - tori.ng

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

Betta Edu

Betta Edu, the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has issued a threat to take legal action against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for what she claims to be defamation.

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

The letter, addressed to BBC’s Abuja and London offices, claimed that the BBC had reported false information regarding the ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleging that N30 billion was recovered from the suspended minister.

The lawyer stated that the concerned publication had caused immeasurable reputational damage, psychological trauma and anguish to Edu.

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

The letter further criticized the BBC for its article, stating that it suggested guilt on Edu’s part without allowing for the presumption of innocence.

It accused the BBC of breaching journalistic fairness and due process by not providing Edu with an opportunity to respond to the allegations before publishing the article.

Parts of the letter read, “First and foremost, the language used in describing our client’s purported involvement in the alleged corruption case suggests guilt without allowing for the presumption of innocence, which is fundamental in any fair and unbiased reporting.

“The reckless manner in which the article was crafted, without providing our client with the opportunity to respond to the allegations before its wide publication, is a clear breach of journalistic fairness and due process and demonstrates a complete disregard for journalistic integrity and professionalism.

“The headline, content, and tone of the article imply guilt on the part of our client, without any concrete evidence to substantiate such claims.

“This is a blatant attempt to tarnish our client’s reputation and undermine her credibility which she has earned over the course of her distinguished career in both private and public life.

“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.”



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