to Smear the Hard Earned Reputation of
Chief Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla-
“Our reputation is more important than the last hundred million dollars.”
– Rupert Murdoch
The blogosphere and social media space has been awash lately with stories spun from the fabric of evil minded persons and shared by likeminded persons in a bid to tarnish the image and hard earned reputation of the venerable Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution and Chairman of the Special Presidential Panel on the Recovery of Public Property.
A letter purportedly emanating from the police and addressed to the Attorney General of Nigeria and purportedly inviting Chief Okoi Obono-Obla to answer questions relating to stealing was seen online. www.elombah.com published a story with the title “Police Declare Buhari’s Aide Okoi Obono-Obla wanted for Stealing!”
This libelous fabrication of a story was also published sometime in May 2017 by PointBlank News with the caption “Buhari’s Aide in Kidnap Scandal, Snatches Lawyer’s Wife, Kid”.
This is the True Story:
One Julius Atanawhemera is the main person at the helm of this campaign to smear the image of Chief Obla.
Julius Atanawhemera’s estranged wife, Evbu Igbenidion works with Chief as his Personal Assistant on Legal Matters. She was referred to Chief by a political associate sometime in early 2016. It is pertinent to point out here that long before Chief employed Evbu, she has reverted to her maiden name, suggesting (as she later confirmed) that their marriage was on the rocks.
Later in 2016 Chief got a call from someone who introduced himself as Julius Atanawhemera and who told Chief that he (Julius) is having issues with his wife who is Chief’s PA and implored Chief to intervene. Chief Obla told him that he would not like to get involved with the private and family issues of any of his staff.
This must have infuriated the said Julius who began a series of activities to embarrass and hurt the image of Chief Obla in a bid to make Chief sack Evbu. Julius threatened Chief Obla severally through calls and text messages; and he even went to Chief’s wife law office to harass and intimidate her. The said Julius was doing all these to force Chief to sack Evbu Igbenidion, his estranged wife, as some sort of punishment to her for their marital problems. Since this was not working, Julius has resorted to a campaign of calumny against Chief Obla.
On the 7th of April 2017, Chief came to his office at the Federal Ministry of Justice from a meeting to meet a man fighting his staff and visitors and shouting at the top of his voice. Chief inquired what was happening and was told that it was the man, Julius, who accompanied a court bailiff to come and serve divorce proceedings to his wife, Evbu. That Julius started taking pictures of everyone in the office and when he was asked to stop he started fighting everyone including visitors. That was the first time Chief was seeing the man Julius in his life.
By the time Chief got to the scene and started asking questions, policemen attached to the Federal Ministry of Justice were already there trying to disperse the crowd that had gathered and then they took Julius to their operational unit in the Federal Ministry of Justice for interrogation. Chief decided to let things be so that it will not be misconstrued as if he is using the weight of his office and influence in this administration to oppress the said Julius. That was Chief Obla’s mistake. He should have taken action then and nip this in the bud. However, Chief still refused to interfere in the marital issues.
Chief was however shocked at the intense obsession of Julius Atanawhemera in causing him reputation damage just because he employed his estranged wife. Chief had initially dismissed his action as those of a man who is hurting from a marriage on the rocks. But the insane and consistent attack on Chief’s person became a cause of great concern. Things got to a head when on Monday, the 22nd of May 2017 his attention was drawn to an online publication by PointBlank News, an online news magazine at www.pointblanknews.com with the caption: “Buhari’s Aide in Kidnap Scandal, Snatches Lawyer’s Wife, Kid”.
Chief immediately briefed us to filed libel proceedings against Julius and PointBlank News; we prepared processes and was ready to file when Chief asked us to hold off. Again, he was prevailed upon to drop the lawsuit. He thought filing the lawsuit will blow up the matter out of proportion and will paint him as one using a sledge hammer to kill an ant. He believed Julius was merely hurting because of his marital issues and will come off it as men do.
But this was not to be. Julius Atanawhemera did not back down in his mission to smear Chief’s image as a strategy to get his estranged wife sacked, so that she can run to him for sustenance.
On or about Thursday the 12th Day of October, 2017, Chief’s attention was again drawn to a publication on www.elombah.com, an online news magazine with a malicious and defamatory caption that reads thus: “Police declares Buhari’s aide Okoi Obono-Obla wanted for stealing!”
This is no longer funny.
For the records:
Chief Okoi Obono-Obla was never declared wanted by the Police. He was also never invited for questioning.
He has nothing to do with all the allegations being peddle around.
He will not stand by anymore and watch his name being used as a play thing.
We call on all his relatives, friends, associates and well-wishers to ignore the stories going around as baseless and the work of a man who is going through a psychological turmoil occasioned by lost love and now being sponsored by fifth columnists and vested interest.
We have been briefed and our services retained to activate all legal channels to defend the hard earned reputation of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla. We have commenced libel proceedings against 1. Julius Atanawhemera 2. Jackson Ude, 3. Point Blank News, 4. Daniel Elombah, and 5. ELOMBAH.COM.
We have also filed a Criminal Complaint against these 5 persons and one Emmanuel Ulayi for Cyberstalking. We have also petitioned the police to explain how a purported letter claiming to invite Chief Obla for questioning got to bloggers without even getting to Chief Obla himself.
“When you see a man fighting to defend his reputation, don’t stand by and do nothing;
it is better for all of us if the man who is fighting to defend his reputation wins.
If the destroyer of reputation wins, you might just be his next victim.”
Baba Isa, Esq.,
FBI LEGAL, Abuja.
(Counsel to Chief Okoi Obono-Obla)