Former Nigerian Ambassador Files Libel Suit Against Ex-Foreign Minister and Official


Onoh Lilian, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Namibia, has filed a libel lawsuit against the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, and Mr. Gabriel Aduda, a Permanent Secretary at the ministry, at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The case has been assigned to Judge Jane Boyle for adjudication, with no hearing date set yet.

In her court documents, Onoh accuses Onyeama and Aduda of defaming her character through a New York-based online newspaper. According to her counsel, Steven Thornton, the online newspaper published an article in April alleging that the Nigerian Government sacked Onoh due to misappropriation of N50 million. The publication included Onoh’s photograph to ensure the story’s focus was clear.

Thornton, representing Onoh, expressed concern in the court papers about the newspaper’s portrayal of his client as corrupt, alleging that the media outlet informed its global audience about the diversion of funds meant for Nigeria’s High Commission in Namibia.

The online newspaper further alleged that Aduda and Onyeama were part of an investigative committee that indicted Onoh for fraud. In response, Onoh reportedly sent memos to former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing Onyeama of condoning corrupt practices in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to court documents, Onoh, during her tenure as Ambassador, reported several incidents of embezzlement of millions of U.S. dollars and billions of Naira by various Nigerian officials. She also alleged embezzlement of $2.8 million in Red Cross Funds meant for Haiti earthquake victims, as well as visa racketeering in the USA and other countries by her successor in Jamaica.

Thornton contends that the claims in the online newspaper’s story are false, stating that Onoh was never terminated from any Nigerian Government post for misappropriation of funds. He also argues that Onyeama did not establish a committee to investigate Onoh, and Aduda did not lead such a committee.

In her prayers before the judge, Thornton seeks litigation costs and any other relief at law or in equity to which Onoh may be entitled.

Source: Daily Post

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