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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: April 10, 2024

Betta Edu: Suspended minister threatens to sue BBC

Betta Edu: Suspended minister threatens to sue BBC

The suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, has threatened to file a lawsuit against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for defamation of character.

Edu made this known in a letter sent to BBC Abuja and London offices by her counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN).

According to the letter, the suspended minister claimed that BBC reported that N30 billion was retrieved from her in the ongoing probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ojukwu asked BBC to retract the article and tender a public apology to Edu over the matter within 48 hours, saying, “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. 

Edu is also demanding 50 million dollars from the UK-based media organisation as compensation and threatened to take legal action against BBC.

The letter reads, “We represent Dr. Betta Edu, the Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation of Nigeria (hereinafter referred to as “our client”) and we have her express instructions to write you in the terms thereunder.

“We write to express our deep concern regarding the recent article published by the BBC on its website: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-Africa (Last accessed on 9th April 2024 at 17:40 GMT) titled: “Betta Edu Probe: Nigeria Recover $24m in Poverty Minister Investigation- EFCC” with the byline “Nigeria Has Recovered 30bn Naira ($24m; £19m) as Part of an Ongoing Corruption probe Into a Suspended Minister, the Financial Watchdog Says”.

“The aforesaid article, which presents information purporting to relate to an ongoing corruption probe into the activities of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria, is replete with innuendoes and insinuations which suggest that N30bn has been recovered in the course of the ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from our client and that the 50 bank accounts connected with the recovered sums are linked to our client.  

“Furthermore, your article proceeds to cast aspersion on our client by referencing her earlier suspension (to allow for unfettered investigations) in the following terms: “Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Minister Betta Edu was initially suspended in January over the alleged diversion of $640,000 of public money into a personal bank account.”

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