By Martins Odeh
Abuja – The legal firm representing Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, Senior Adviser to the President on Judicial Reforms and International Relations, has threatened a legal suit against institutions and individuals spreading fake news that its client benefited from corrupt funds.
Mr Atuegwu Okafor, a Solicitor to Ibekaku-Nwagwu disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
“We have read with profound dismay a publication in a popular online outfit which it alleged that Ibekaku- Nwagwu was indicted for illegally benefiting from corrupt funds.
“We have conferred with Ibekaku-Nwagwu and hereby state unequivocally that the publication is false in its entirety.
“In the said publication that was published by this popular online outfit and widely disseminated to several papers, it claimed that EFCC has alleged that Ibekaku Nwagwu benefited from funds that was gifted to the Federal Ministry of Justice in 2011’’, he said.
Okafor further explained that: “since reading that report, we have made efforts to find out the source of the information as we only became aware of such story on the pages of the newspaper’’.
He said the firm would take the necessary legal actions to protect Ibekaku-Nwagwu, her family, and her hard earned reputation.
According to him, the widespread fake news is a crass design to dent the good reputation the adviser to the president has built over the years.
“ The EFCC is yet to inform Ibekaku Nwagwu of how she benefited personally from the funds and why her name was mentioned in a document that does not reflect the work she did for the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“It is important to put on record that Ibekaku Nwagwu was only an Adviser to the Federal Ministry of Justice on Justice Reform in 2011 as she was on leave of absence from EFCC, her primary place of assignment.
“She was also providing support through the British High Commission to the Federal Ministry of Justice. She was never a staff of the Ministry of Justice’’, Okafor said.
Okafor also said: “all her work was geared towards providing training to various departments in the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“She was also tasked with developing Justice Reform Plans for the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“She never had any approving or accounting role and therefore could not have benefitted from any fund personally’’.
Okafor also said that the popular online medium falsely stated that Justice Funmilayo Ajayi of the Federal High Court Benin in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/103/2018 had indicted Ibekaku-Nwagwu in Nov. 2019 over corruption charges.
“It has become necessary to reiterate that Ibekaku- Nwagwu was not a party to the said suit and at no point was she indicted by the Court.
“We have read through the record of proceedings and Judgment of the court and nowhere was Ibekaku-Nwagwu mentioned in the whole process.
“This latest false media report by this popular online medium is simply a conjecture meant to hurt and blackmail our client’’, he said.
Okafor, explained that it was on record that the news medium that first reported this false information orchestrated by a “fifth columnist’’ withdrew it and apologised to Ibekaku-Nwagwu.