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Sunday, 4 June 2017

Jonathan’s godson threatens EFCC with N10bn suit

Mr. George Turnah, the embattled businessman and godson of former President Goodluck Jonathan, has threatened to slam N10bn defamation suit on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Turner, who is currently detained at Port Harcourt Prison in Rivers State is being investigated by the anti-graft agency for alleged involvement in a case of obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering and abuse of office.

He is also being investigated for being in possession of funds running into N2bn allegedly siphoned from the Niger Delta Development Commission while serving there as an Adviser on Youths between 2012 and 2015.

The EFCC operatives, led by the Zonal Head of the Commission, Mr. Ishaq Salihu, were recently in Bayelsa State to enforce an order of interim forfeiture of buildings and other property belonging to Turner by the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.

But Turner has written to the EFCC claiming that he was innocent of allegations of corruption levelled against him by the commission.

He gave the anti-graft agency seven days to pay him N100m compensation and tender public apology to him for what he described as a media trial that had tarnished his image.

At the expiration of the ultimatum, Turner in the letter dated May 30, 2017, threatened to slam N10bn defamation suit on the commission.

Also, Turner, in the letter by Amuda Kannike (SAN) & Co signed by O.N. Anugbum denied getting multiple contracts from the NDDC.

He asked the Managing Director, NDDC, to release details of the contracts and make clarifications on the alleged jobs he secured such as the building of Ogbia Brotherhood Village and electrification of Ogbia, but failed to execute them.

Relying on the Freedom of Information Act, the 33-year-old, whose properties had been placed on temporary forfeiture by EFCC, appealed to NDDC to make public details of the projects.

He demanded names of the companies that got the projects, the scope of the job, monetary valuations of the said contracts, and the amount of money released so far to the contractors.

Turner insisted that the Zonal Head of EFCC, South South, Mr. Ishaq Salihu, made defamatory statements and publication against him.

He said that Salihu, on May 23, 2017, at the zonal headquarters of EFCC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, addressed a group of protesters accusing him of contributing to the under-development of Niger Delta by receiving and refusing to execute a number of projects from the NDDC.

The letter reads in part, “In the light of the foregoing and in the spirit of second chance, we have our client’s instructions to give you an ultimatum of seven days from the receipt/ date of this letter to issue an apology in three national dailies, your Facebook page, two widely read blog sites and payment of N100m compensatory damage to avoid a N10bn defamation suit.”

Turner also sent a similar letter to a blogger, claiming that his Facebook publications misrepresented the matter and lowered his reputation in the eyes of the public.

He demanded similar compensation from the blogger threatening to initiate a similar N10bn law suit against him.

Turner, who is facing trial over allegations of corruption, has filed applications seeking bail and reversal of an interim order of forfeiture of his properties issued by the FHC in Port Harcourt.

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