Ex-Minister Demands N3bn Compensation Over Alleged Car Smuggling Accusation

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Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, on Sunday, threatened to sue an online publication, Peoples Gazette which claimed that he smuggled a Jaguar car to the United States which was impounded by the authorities.

The former Minister, who served in President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in a letter to the publisher of the online publication through his counsel, Mike Ozhekome’s Chambers, titled: “Libelous Publications against Dr Ibe Kachikwu-Demand for Retraction and Compensation”, also said the publication erroneously claimed that he received the sum of N9.7b in his account.

Kachikwu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said he was inundated with calls, messages, and emails from friends and associates from within and outside the country, who have expressed worry and concern over the development.

While seeking the sum of N3b as compensation and a retraction of the said publication, Kachikwu said the online newspaper in its August 23, 2021 edition claimed that he purchased a stolen vehicle which was smuggled from a United Kingdom Assembly to California in the United States.

It said the publication “maliciously and falsely” portrayed the former minister as a smuggler.

The letter also stated that the publication claimed the former minister received the sum of N9.7 billion in his First Bank account while he served as minister which it said denotes his appetite for luxury goods and accommodation.

“The aforementioned publications which were deliberately calculated to do maximum damage to his esteemed person, image and hard-earned goodwill and integrity, falsely alleged that our client smuggled a stolen jaguar car into the United States of America”.

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