Ex IGP, Arase drags three ICIR officials to court for defamation

Dr. Solomon Arase (IGP Rtd), Chairman of the Police Service Commission, has taken three staff members of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) to court for defamation of character following the publication of a report that the chairman claims was intended to ridicule him and bring his name into disrepute.

Ikechukwu Ani, the PSC’s spokesman, said this in Abuja on Friday.

It reads: “The attention of the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr. Solomon Arase, retired Inspector General of Police has been drawn to reports in the media that the Nigeria Police Force has invited one Mr. Nurudeen Akewushola, a staff of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) over his published defamatory reports against the person of the PSC Chairman.

“The invitation was allegedly at the instance of the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC).

“It is instructive to state that Dr. Arase had instructed his solicitors immediately his attention was drawn to the publication to act on his behalf.

“His solicitors in a letter dated 23rd February 2024 to Mr. Nurudeen Akewushola, Victoria Bamas and Mr. Dayo Aiyetan, the writer, editor and Executive Director respectively, all of ICIR and copies of the letters delivered to them and to the Chairman, Secretary and Members of the Board of Trustees of the company.

“In the letters, the Solicitors complained of the words written of and concerning Dr.Arase as being without justification and devoid of truth as the words were calculated to bring him to contempt, ridicule and odium.

“Accordingly, the solicitors demanded inter alia, for immediate retraction of the said defamatory publication within a timeline, failure of which the Solicitors notified the recipients of those letters that Dr. Arase would seek redress in court.

“Dr. Arase has by a writ of summons dated 22nd day of March, 2024 and filed 5th April, 2024 instituted at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, a civil action in Suit No. CV/1937/2024 against Mr. Nurudeen Akewushola, Victoria Bamas, Mr. Dayo Aiyetan and Registered Trustees of International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

“The matter has been assigned to a court of competent jurisdiction for hearing.

“While the Nigeria Police Force, like other security agencies, are entitled to carry out investigation of any matter which in their opinion has criminal elements, it is pertinent to state emphatically that by the pedigree of the former Inspector General of Police as a Legal Practitioner, Doctor of Philosophy in Law, and currently presiding over the Police Service Commission, he is law-abiding, and has since instituted a civil action to challenge the heinous defamatory words published and concerning him in order to redeem his esteemed reputation by seeking appropriate reliefs.

“Dr. Arase will therefore refrain from publicly discussing this matter in the media or in any other way unlawfully entangling it with police powers.”

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