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HEDA Boss, Suraju Threatens To Sue Ex-Presidential Aide, Abati Over ‘Libellous Publication’, States Demands

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The Chairman of the Human and Environmental Improvement Agenda (HEDA), Mr Olanrewaju Suraju has demanded {that a} former presidential aide, Reuben Abati ought to retract a libellous article written towards him and his organisation.
 
Alongside the retraction of the publication, Suraju additionally requested a public apology from the columnist and vowed to take authorized motion towards him if he fails to fulfill the calls for.

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This was contained in a press assertion issued by the group and its boss, which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday.
 
In a letter referred to Abati and dated October 4 and signed by Oluwaseye Afolabi from M. A. Banire & Associates, HEDA and Suraju via their solicitors stated statements made within the publication weren’t solely totally false but in addition “inimical to the fame and integrity of our Purchasers and fairly damaging to their integrity”.
 
Abati on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, wrote a column titled: ‘CSOs, NGOs and their discontents,’ exploring developments across the OPL 245 scandal to critique civil society organisations in Nigeria, particularly HEDA and its chairman, Suraju.
 
Nevertheless, the letter to Abati learn partly: “We’re solicitors to Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju and HEDA Useful resource Centre (hereinafter known as ‘our Purchasers’), and it’s on their instruction that we write you this letter.
 
“As you’re already conscious, our Purchasers are an anti-corruption campaigner and civil society organisation which core mandates are selling transparency in governance, demanding authorities and societal accountability in addition to preventing corruption in all its types. Our shoppers are globally recognized for his or her rigorously constructed excessive ethical standing, vibrancy, integrity and transparency with a number of accomplishments each domestically and internationally.”
 
The letter additionally revealed the genesis of what led to the calls for made by the attorneys on behalf of their shoppers.
 
It stated, “Our shoppers knowledgeable us and we consider them that some libellous statements have been credited to you through which the character and fame of our shoppers, amongst different issues, have been questioned.
 
“On Tuesday, the twenty first day of September, 2021, notably at paragraph 10 of an opinion credited to you through a web based platform which might be assessed with the tackle: ‘https://www.reubenabati.com.ng/index.php/element/k2/merchandise/36027-opinion-csos-ngos-and-their-discontents-reuben-abati’, you emphatically described our shoppers as follows: ‘To worsen issues, we’re advised that Olanrewaju Suraj’s Human and Environmental Improvement Agenda (HEDA) is an unregistered organisation.’
 
“Equally, at paragraph 11, you said towards our shoppers as follows: ‘As for HEDA and Suraj, Mohammed Bello Adoke was maligned. His fame was dragged within the mud of social media. Though the Italian Courtroom threw out your complete Malabu/ENI trial, Bello Adoke, who was not on trial in Italy, was repeatedly maligned by HEDA, making an attempt to affect the Nigerian Courts. Our individuals consider the worst about anybody who ever served in authorities. NGOs are presupposed to be change brokers not instruments for untruths and blackmail.’
 
“The above statements weren’t solely totally false however have been additionally inimical to the fame and integrity of our Purchasers and fairly damaging to their integrity;
 
“Our Purchasers grew to become conscious of your publication via a barrage of calls and messages from companions, buddies, well-wishers and others who referred to as in to confirm the veracity of your publication;
 
“All efforts to persuade the populace that nothing might be farther from the reality achieved little;
 
“Upon visiting your web site, our shoppers noticed your false publication that the organisation, which was registered since 2004, is an unregistered organisation and that Mr. Suraj maligned Adoke when actually, you knew these assertions have been false;
 
“Your publication has triggered immeasurable injury to our shoppers’ fame, now that their worldwide and native companions are questioning the integrity of the organisation and its anti-corruption work;
 
“Your unfaithful and fabricated publication is, undoubtedly, calculated to trigger extreme injury to our shoppers’ hard-earned fame within the eyes of the right-thinking members of society by dragging their rigorously nurtured good identify within the mud;
 
“Upon turning into conscious of your libellous publication, a few of our shoppers’ colleagues and companions within the battle towards corruption and the civil society house didn’t mince phrases in informing them that they might not affiliate with them in view of the truth that your publication claimed that HEDA shouldn’t be a registered organisation;
 
“Your publication has uncovered our shoppers to undeserved public opprobrium, and many who have learn your publication have expressed their shock that they might interact in such acts; many extra have questioned them as to why they might shamelessly carry the belief and excessive esteem reposed in them to disrepute; and
 
“A few of them expressed their disappointment that they, notably Mr. Olanrewaju Suraj, generally known as an individual of sterling and enviable qualities, would descend to the abyss heinous conducts that as you said in your publication.”
 
The solicitors famous additional: “Sir, you’ll agree with us that your assertion paints our Purchasers as an organisation and one that lack integrity and have carried out themselves beneath the usual anticipated of members of the civil society. There isn’t a doubt in the truth that your publication casts a direct aspersion on our Purchasers. To right-thinking members of society, your publication has gravely introduced our Shopper as an individual and an organisation missing integrity and good fame.”
 

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