Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, Monday denied allegations that he was laundering money through contract scams.
Obasa described as “absurd, abusive” and “malicious” the claims that he awarded contracts to himself through companies registered in the names of his father, wife and children.
The allegations, he said, were made by online news medium Sahara Reporters in a publication titled “Exposed: Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Obasa, Awards Contracts to self through Company Registered in son’s name”.
But, Obasa’s counsel, Mr. Lawal Pedro SAN, in an April 30 letter seen by The Nation, said none of the firms mentioned by the publication had ever been engaged or awarded any contract by the lawmakers.
He demanded that Sahara Reporters publisher, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, retract the story within seven days and apologise, otherwise face a N1 billion defamation lawsuit.
The letter, ‘Demand for retraction of defamatory statements published against and concerning the person of Rt. Hon, Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa and apology for the publication, reads in part:
Pedro said although the lawmakers had already denied the “said false and malicious publication on social media platforms” the online medium repeated the claims elsewhere.
“In your subsequent publication of 25th March 2020 captioned ‘Exclusive: Tinubu, GAC back Lagos Assembly Speaker, Obasa, over suspension of Lawmakers, corruption’ you repeated the same malicious statement concerning our client…” Pedro said.
According to him, the publication had damaged Obasa’s reputation globally.
He added: In the circumstance, it is our client’s instruction and we hereby demand of you, within 7 days of receipt of this letter a retraction of the said false, malicious and defamatory publication against our client through your online publication, social media platforms and three (3) National Newspapers circulating in Nigeria.
“You are also to tender a written unreserved apology to our client for the publication. TAKE NOTICE that, if you fail, refuse or neglect to meet our client’s humble request within the stipulated number of days, we have his further instruction to commence a legal action against you and your organization for the malicious defamatory publication and to claim N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) damages.”