Dogara demands apology from online blog over N1bn diversion report

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and member Representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi state, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has threatened to institute legal action against publishers of Bauchi based online news blog Wikki Times over alleged defamatory story published against him on June 28, 2021.

In the said story, the online medium alleged that the former Speaker “connived” with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to squander a sum of N1 billion meant for renovation of schools in his constituency.

In a letter addressed and delivered to Publishers of Wikki Times dated July 2nd, 2021 signed by the counsels to Dogara Barristers Ahmed A. Accanny and S. N. Yusuf  of Baushe Chambers Bauchi, which copies were issued to journalists over the weekend, the former speaker demanded for immediate retraction of the defamatory story and written apology.

They stated that the story should be retracted within three days from the date of the receipt of the letter failure of which the publishers would be sued.

“Your disingenuous publication purported to elicit information from some named persons one of whom is one Mr. Gideon Gambo, whom your spurious publication claimed is an uncle to our client and NUTChairman of Bogoro Local Government. Your publication went on to recklessly quote the said Mr. Gideon Gambo, a fictitious uncle to our client as saying that:

“It is very glaring that nowhere in your ignoble publication other than the sensational headline did you trace the release of the sum of 1 billion naira to UBEC for the construction of Model schools which UBEC undertakes at 250 million naira and have constructed same in many states across the country. 

“Since you have categorically failed to state whether the purported sum of 1 billion naira was released and to whom, how therefore did you arrive at the conclusion that our client in conjunction with UBEC has squandered a nonexistent sum of 1 billion naira? 

‘It is crystal clear that you have left no intelligent person in doubt as to the fact that your mendacious publication was just meant to defame our client.” The letter reads in parts.

Dogara’s lawyers equally accused the medium of going on to personally state that an ICT centre in the community has been converted to an APC warehouse used by Dogara. 

“Our client finds it shocking that you went to great lengths to starkly defame him without a shred of evidence and had to resort to base conjecture and suppositions. 

In sharp contrast to what your unfounded publication would have the world believe, our client has no uncle dead or alive that bears the name Mr. Gideon Gambo in which by virtue of your publication is the acclaimed principal of Gwarangah Secondary School and chairman of NUT, Bogoro L.G.A.”. They said.