Sequel to allegation by the Anti-Corruption network that he was involved in sundry acts of corruption, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice,Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, Tuesday, dragged the group and its Executive Secretary, Dino Melaye, before an Abuja High Court.
In his suit against the group, the AGF, who maintained that the allegation has greatly maligned his public image, prayed the court to award him N10billion as damages for libel, as well as another N200million as cost of litigation.
In his statement of claims, Adoke, maintained that it was his son, Habib Mohammed Bello, that drew his attention to some malicious publications that was sponsored against him by the group, saying the information was further corroborated by his senior special assistant,Prof. Peter Akper, SAN, and his colleague and friend Mr. Damien Dodo, SAN.
Besides, he is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining, Melaye and his anti-corruption network from further publishing libelous stories about him or from further inferring in any manner whatsoever to his reputation.
The AGF said he was hurt when Melaye described him as a dishonourable person who associates himself with criminals and economic saboteurs, and that even though he (Adoke) is a top government official, he is sabotaging the efforts of the federal government to tackle the menace of corruption.
Consequently, he has engaged eleven lawyers, which include four SANs led by the chairman of the governing council of the Legal Aid Council, Chief Bolaji Atorinde, SAN, to argue the case on his behalf. No date has been fixed for commencement of hearing on the suit.
Meantime, in a swift reaction, leader of the anti-corruption group and former member of the House of Representatives, Melaye, yesterday, dismissed the suit, describing it as a ploy by the AGF to escape probe.
Insisting that the court case will further expose the AGF, Melaye, said, “We are yet to be served with the court process, but as soon as we are served, we will consult with our lawyers. This move by the AGF will not be an escape route for him. He has tried using the Nigerian police, but we punctured his gimmicks. Now he thinks going to court he will intimidate us but let me assure you that legal approach or action will only indict Adoke further.”