A Consortium of lawyers for human rights and justice and the Council of Ethnic Youth Leaders of Nigeria (CEYLN), have exposed plot to smear the image of Aiteo Group of Companies and its founder, Mr. Benedict Peters using an international media organization.
Recall that Mr. Peters had severally through court denied receiving any favour by way of facilitation or otherwise from the former Minister of Petroleum, Deziani Alison-Madueke.
He had also denounced any attempt to link the purchase of his property with Alison-Madueke, adding that the furniture found at the United Kingdom (UK) address of Deziani Alison- Madueke does not belong to him.
However, CEYLN noted that there is a plot to resuscitate the matter, using an international medium to rope Mr. Peters into an issue that has already been settled in the court about four years ago.
In a joint press conference by the different groups, they allege that the allegations being peddled against Mr. Peters and Aiteo are the same issues which have already been conclusively determined by courts of competent jurisdiction or pending in court and the purpose of the publication could only be to impugn the integrity of Mr. Peters and the company.
Speaking on behalf of the groups, Barr. Tochukwu Ohazuruike asked why would the staff writer of Washington Post, Peter Whoriskey, be asking questions at this time on an issue that has already be determined in the court and which he can easily get answer to in the Internet?
The group said: “Out of the five questions Mr. Whoriskey inquired about, question 1 has been resolved by a competent court of law in Nigeria and the decision widely publicized. A simple internet search would have availed Mr. Whoriskey of the judgment of the case and the present state of affairs.
“Further, questions 2-5 were directly extracted from untested allegations contained in a first amended verified complaint filed before the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.”
In answering the allegations against Mr. Peters, the groups claimed that “Mr. Peters has stated severally that he has never received any favour by way of facilitation or otherwise from Dieziani Alison-Madueke, and there was therefore nothing to be grateful for.
“He has severally denounced any such attempt to link the purchase of his property with Dieziani under such premises. His purchase of the furniture was in furtherance of his desire to furnish a property that belonged to him, and those furniture can be found, even today, at his said property at 58 Harley House.
“No furniture that belonged to him can be found at any other place other than in his property. The furniture found at the UK address of Dieziani Alison-Madueke does not belong to him, and certainly could not have been the same found in his said property at 58 Harley House.”
They insist that the answers they provided should discourage future smear campaigns as this is not the first time it was happening saying, “we hope that with these answers we would have satisfied Mr. Whoriskey.
“We also say to all such persons who would in the future want to regurgitate these issues that the answers are already available in the public space.”