Following the threat of litigation, Richest Lifestyle, a US-based website, has removed President Goodluck Jonathan’s name from its list of Africa’s richest presidents, where it had initially placed him as the sixth richest president in Africa.
The removal comes amidst threat by the Presidency on Wednesday, demanding a retraction of the story and an unreserved apology from the website, and from all those who had reproduced the article, which it deemed offensive.
A check by our correspondent on Thursday indicated that the website had tactically removed Jonathan’s name and left the position blank.
In the sixth place, Richest Lifestyle said, “This post has been deleted.”
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Wednesday had described the publication as an attempt to portray Jonathan as a corrupt leader.
Abati had threatened that the Presidency would not hesitate to institute a libel case against the authors if they failed to retract the article.
The statement read, “We have noted with consternation the listing of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by a website – RichestLifestyle.com – as the sixth richest African President with an estimated net worth of $100m.
“The Presidency condemns the totally unwarranted inclusion of President Jonathan in the publication titled ‘Africa’s Richest Presidents 2014′ as another attempt to unjustifiably portray the President as a corrupt leader and incite public disaffection against him. [ea_ad_1. “We categorically assert that there is no factual basis for ranking President Jonathan as the sixth richest African Head of State with a net worth of about $100m.
“As is well known, President Jonathan has never been a businessman or entrepreneur, but a life-long public servant. The President has held public office since 1999 and has regularly declared his assets as required by Nigerian laws. He has had no personal income since 1999 other than his official remuneration as deputy governor, governor, vice president, acting president and president which are matters of public record.
“There has been no significant variation in the totality of his personal assets as contained in his last declaration to the Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau in 2011 which, as can be verified, was a very, very far cry from the $100m figure now being bandied about by Richest Lifestyle.com and other irresponsible, copy-cat publications.
“The clear and unacceptable imputation of the claim that President Jonathan is now worth about $100m is that the President has corruptly enriched himself while in office which is certainly not the case.
“We therefore demand a retraction and an unreserved apology from Richest Lifestyle.com and all those who have reproduced the offensive article.
“Otherwise, they should be prepared to substantiate their libelous claims against the President in courts of law within and outside Nigeria.” (Punch)