Alleged Defamation: NCAC ex-Director Slams N50m Suit Against DG, Runsewe

by Per Second News
2 minutes read





A former Director of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mr Hilary Ogbechie, has instituted a suit against the NCAC Director-General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe at a Federal High Court, Abuja over alleged defamation of character.


Ogbechie, who was the director in charge of Extension Services (External Relations), is asking the court to award N50 million as general damages against the defendant.


According to a statement of claim deposed to on behalf of Ogbechie by his lawyer, MrValentine Offia, he averred that Runsewe (defendant) had on January 5, 2020, issued a press release and granted a media interview published by Sahara Reporters which indicted him of fraud.

Runsewe had alleged in the interview that Ogbechie as the Director General of the council was indicted by the 2017 audit report recently released by the Office of the Auditor–General of the Federation which red-flagged instances of financial irregularities in contract awards and payments.

Ogbechie averred that Runsewe knowing that he (Ogbechie) was never the Director-General of the Council falsely and maliciously claimed that he was in charge at the time of the alleged financial impropriety knowing full well that he had retired from public service since March 2016.

He argued that the false statement made by the defendant impressed on the minds of members of Nigerian and international communities that the claimant was involved in financial scams, defrauded the public treasury and has been indicted by an audit report of the Auditor – General of the Federation of Nigeria.

He said by implication of the satanic allegations, he was unfit to be an administrator of funds and that he has proclivity for kleptomania and has ruined his hard-earned reputation among his social peers, business partners and international associates.

Ogbechie noted that the defendant had refused to retract the offensive interview despite repeated written requests.

He is, therefore, seeking an order of the court compelling the defendant to pay general damages of N50 million as damages done to his reputation.

He also wants an order of the court compelling the defendant to pay special damages of N2 million to him being the cost of the suit, among others.

It would be recalled that the audit report had indicted the DG of NCAC for malfeasance including failure to explain the purchase of a car of N5.6 million without approval or due process on May 3, 2017, irregularities in contract awards and payments at the agency.

Others are payment of N44.3 million directly to a contractor for the construction of National Research Center in Kaduna without a payment voucher and in full before the contractor carried out any work, lack of approval by the Tenders Board since the said payment was above the approval limit of the Director General among others.


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