Lauretta Vs Nwaoboshi Onochie: ‘I have a right for oversight functions

The social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, has insisted that she has a right for oversight functions over the senator representing Delta North senatorial district, Peter Nwaoboshi.

Onochie had earlier published a story on her facebook handle, saying she was at an event at Nwaoboshi’s home town when he (Nwaoboshi) spoke in Anioma’s dialect, allegedly declaring himself a thief.

In view of that Onochie opined: “I am an Ada Anioma. I was raised in Anioma land. We do not take what belongs to others, let alone pride ourselves in being thieves.

“The question Senator Nwaoboshi has refused to answer is to tell Niger Delta citizens and Nigerians his role in the award of contracts for the provision of 4,800 plastic desks and chairs for primary/secondary schools in nine (9) states of the Niger Delta in 2016 with award of contract letters dated 22nd September, 2016.

“The contract sum was for N3.6 Billion Naira. The revelations in the award of the said contract are mind boggling, disturbing and appalling, using eleven different companies and business  names which were awarded the contract are owned by or traceable to one and the same person being Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi.

“The said companies/business names are: Noan Integrated Services; De Towers Constructions & Allied Services Ltd; Franstine Nigeria Enterprises; Edrihide Company; Isumabe U.K. Global; Benchmark Construction at Allied Services

“Millstone Allied Builders Ltd.; Nelpat Nigeria Company; Agh-Rown Ventures; Edendoma Star International; and Antlers Construction and Allied Works Ltd.

“The inventory records show that these items were supplied and received on Senator Nwaoboshi’s business premises and warehouse, not to the beneficiaries. Meanwhile, the contacts were awarded to him.

“However, some of the items supplied to Nwaoboshi’s warehouse through his cronies, were later resold to the Delta state government, while the others were sold to other states through contracts awarded to him.

“All supply agreements were signed by one and the same person being Mr. Agbamuche Nelson, traceable to Senator Nwaoboshi. This is in flagrant contravention of section 58(4) (a) and (d) of the Public Procurement Act.

“No wonder Senator Nwaoboshi and his cohorts are jittery about the ongoing Forensic Audit exercise in the NDDC and are doing everything possible to derail it.

Senator Nwaoboshi’s reaction

However, with the above allegations against his personality, the outspoken Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, asked Lauretta Onochie to retract her write-up and tender an apology to him. He gave her 48 hours, to do so, nothing that if she fails to apologize and retract her story, he would sue her in court.

Part of the letter read thus:  “We are Solicitors to Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, Chairman Senate Committee on NDDC hereinafter called “Our Client”, on whose instructions we write you on the relative above.

Our Client informed us and we verily believe him that; On the 8th day of June 2020, you posted/published a defamatory article on your Facebook page (Lauretta Onochie) against our client captioned “NDDC- THE CHICKEN COMES HOME TO ROOST” appearing on your page as follows, amongst others.

“That our client believes that this publication by you against him is meant to ridicule his image all because you occupy an important position in the government of President Buhari in relation to social media. So that whatever you posted or shared should be taken as the position of the President and therefore your post/publications would be believed by others.

“That our client believes that this publication/ post about him is meant to be understood and was understood by reasonable and right thinking members of the public that he is: a thief as you called him in your Facebook post, Corrupt and a criminal; Abusing his office and not fit to represent the good people of Delta North senatorial district, Committing atrocities as Chairman Senate committee on Niger Delta and not  a man of integrity.

“That this publication was made/posted by you mischievously and maliciously. To say the least, the said libelous post is calculated to undermine him knowing that the Senate is carrying out a probe of the NDDC.

“That it is our clients belief that for you to call him a thief without being convicted by a court of law has not only maligned his image but also has ridiculed his integrity.

“That it is only a competent court of law that can pronounce someone a thief when the person is found guilty of a crime.

“That there is no doubt that your Facebook posts/publications enjoys wide readership throughout Nigeria and globally as Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on social media.

“To have maligned disparaged and tarnished his reputation, integrity and image both in his official and personal capacity is not only condemnable but punishable”.

In a letter of litigation written to Mrs Onochie on Tuesday in Abuja by solicitors of Nwaoboshi, she was given 48 hours to retract all her alleged disparaging comments against Nwaoboshi as regards contracts from NDDC or face litigation immediately.

The solicitors are Bwala&Co of the Crystal Chambers and Daniel Hassan Bwala of Lincoln’s Inn London.

Onochies fires back

Undisturbed by Nwaoboshi’s threat, Onochie revisited her facebook and chronologically listed fresh allegations against the Honorable Senator.

Her words: “When I heard he was DRAGGING me to court, I laughed so loudly, I could have roused a sleeping koala. Hurry, Nwaoboshi, I’m eager and willing to be sued so you don’t need to drag me.

When the news filtered in that you are “dragging” me to court, the calls and messages of support began to pour in. Nationwide and particularly from those you have raped over the years, our long suffering Anioma people. Just a sample:

Dear Sister,

Howdy. Just read Nwaoboshi wants to sue you for Libel. Congratulations. Nwaoboshi has NO REPUTATION that will succeed in a Libel Suit. Ask him to hurry up. We know him very well! My kindest personal regards.

You shamefully demanded for an undeserved apology. You have kidnapped our region, pocketing for yourself, the development that should have set our people free from poverty.

I should apologise for that?

You hijack the support for Anioma people at federal, State and local government levels. Yet, our women are dying from child birth because our collective wealth is in your pocket and you do not care.

I should apologise for that.

Our youth have been left behind because you collect the basin of corn that should emancipate them. And like hungry chicks, you throw a few grains in their directions. And they hail you. Yet, left in poverty.

I should apologise for that?

Peter Nwaoboshi has no regards for our women. It’s on record how you mobilised some enslaved youth as backup, as you slapped and beat up Mrs. Mariam Ali, Col. Ahmadu Ali’s wife, tearing the clothes she wore to a meeting.

I should apologise for that?

It’s the same Nwaoboshi who got contracts to supply farm tractors to a Delta state government agency, DLA. What did he supply to DLA? Old tractors he repainted AND WAS PAID IN FULL.

I should apologise for that?

You came to the Villa, State House Abuja, and you refused to follow protocol followed by everyone in your team. Then you threw an almighty tantrum when the rules were not bent for you. But you learnt that Abuja is not Asaba.

I should apologise for that?

How about the trips to China with some Local government chairmen from Delta State? You know why you went there and at our expense….

I should apologise for that?”

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