Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has written to the publishers of Daily Independent newspapers demanding public apology and retraction of a story alleging that he is on a United States watchlist over alleged link to Boko Haram.
The minister, through his lawyer, Karina Tunyan, SAN, demanded that the newspaper recant the story it published in its Sunday edition within 24 hours or face legal consequences.
In the story, which has since gone viral, the newspaper quoted an unnamed US government report which allegedly speak to the minister’s sympathy to Boko Haram and preaching of the sect’s doctrines.
In the letter signed by Michael Jonathan Numa, and addressed to the Managing Director/Editor-in-chief of the newspaper, the lawyers saidMr Pantami’s reputation as a scholar and notable public figure was badly damaged by the publication.
The minister requested that the media organisation write a letter of apology to him and publish it in five newspapers.
“That you convene a press conference to publicly announce your retraction while dissociating our client from the false claims you made which are seriously injurious to our client’s personality,” the letter read.
The lawyers said failure to comply with the demand within the stipulated time would make them to commence process of instituting defamation suit against the paper and all persons involved.
The demand letter was copied to the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the State Security Security, SSS, and that of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA.